Celebrating global leadership in sustainability, resilience, equity, health and wellness.
LEED certification has seen global success thanks to a network of nearly 205,000 credentialed professionals around the world. Education is vital to their ability to implement LEED — through LEED Labs at universities, educational tours and employee training in LEED certified buildings, and credentialed advocates at all levels of a building or city's planning, construction, and maintenance. There can be no progress toward sustainability, resilience, equity, or health and wellness without widespread comprehension of their necessity to both our present and our future. It is thanks to LEED certified projects like the four shared below, and their teams, that we continue to make strides toward a more informed, passionate and sustainability-minded public.
The University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas
The University of Texas at Austin has committed itself to sustainability and human health, including the requirement that all new campus buildings receive at least LEED Silver certification to improve their efficiency, reduce their environmental impact and focus on occupant health. UT Austin’s Dell Medical District, a beautiful corridor alongside a river, has achieved LEED certification for its two buildings, SITES certification for its resilient landscape and PEER certification for its resilient power system. Thanks to their hard work, the District has seen dramatic reduction in water usage, complete restoration of native plants along its river, restoration of soils and improved storm water control. And through their PEER certification, UT Austin was one of the few campuses that maintained reliable power throughout Texas' widespread winter power outages in 2021.
New York University’s Langone Health in New York, New York
NYU Langone Health in Manhattan is not only a leading biomedical research and clinical care facility, but is also a leader in building for resilience. NYU Langone’s commitment to resilience was born from a two-month forced closure in the wake of Superstorm Sandy back in 2012, where they were forced to evacuate patients to other hospitals throughout the city. Due to the importance of its research and the vulnerability of its patients, NYU Langone’s leadership knew that action must be taken to ensure it was better prepared for future disasters. Their main campus in Manhattan became the first in the world to achieve both PEER and LEED Platinum certifications, in their pursuit of a resilient, reliable campus and accompanying power system.
During COVID-19, NYU Langone Health stepped up in numerous ways, including the launch of a high-volume, high-speed COVID-19 testing center, key clinical trials for the Pfizer vaccine and antibody therapy, a public COVID-19 research catalog and much more.
Photo Courtesy of NYU Langone Health
The Indianapolis Public Library - Eagle Branch in Indianapolis, Indiana
The Indianapolis Public Library - Eagle Branch is a LEED v4 Gold certified building and an invaluable hub for free community activities, resources, and learning opportunities. Jackie Nytes, the Library's CEO, expressed that in pursuing LEED certification for the library, Eagle Branch aimed to become an example of actionable and inspirational sustainability for the local community. By their very nature, libraries provide one of the most equitable resources a community can access through free education: books, computer and internet access, classes, study spaces, activity centers and much more. Eagle Branch approaches its LEED certification in the same spirit, having provided multiple tours for USGBC Indiana chapter events and offering education on sustainability and the value of LEED to visitors.
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia
Health and wellness
Centro Cultural Mexinquense Bicentenario (CCMB) in Texcoco, Mexico
Centro Cultural Mexiquense Bicentenario (CCMB) is a sprawling campus that has long promoted health and wellness for its employees and visitors alike. All of their LEED Gold certified campus buildings — including a library, theater, classrooms and multiple museum museums — use the Arc platform to track their performance and prioritize and monitor occupant satisfaction. This cultural and artistic hub for the region receives 80,000 visitors a year to celebrate and learn about Mexican heritage.
And their desire to educate hasn't stopped with their LEED certification. CCMB’s involvement with LEED has been credited as a driving force behind the community’s desire to protect the environment of their campus, with effects such as a reduction in single use plastic use and other waste, as well as their transition to healthier, green cleaning products. Built close to town to encourage healthier alternatives to cars, most employees walk, bike or take public transportation to come to work.
SHARE YOUR STORY
Does your project represent USGBC and GBCI's four pillars of sustainability, health and wellness, resilience or equity? Share your story with our Living Standard campaign and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.