The City of Seattle has committed to build all public buildings over 5000 square feet to meet or exceed the silver rating of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Green Building Rating System. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Seattle is experiencing its biggest building boom since 1889 when fire swept through the city destroying many buildings. About a billion dollars worth of downtown public buildings are in the works. It plans to demolish and redesign a central two-block area which is slated to become the heart of the city. The city is building a new city hall, justice center, and central plaza, all of which will meet LEED’s silver level. The $222 million civic campus will include both renovated and new building projects.
Seattle formed a Green Team over a year ago to tie environmental concerns to city construction policy. Lucia Athens, the Sustainable Design & Construction specialist for Seattle Public Utilities, who chaired the group, says they chose LEED for a number of reasons. It not only defines what a green building is but it allows flexibility in selecting different green strategies as appropriate for various building projects.
The Seattle Sustainable Building Strategic Plan: [sorry this link is no longer available]
To learn about LEED: http://www.usgbc.org
Source: Environmental Design & Construction