Welcome to the Green Education Services Blog! Be sure to check back often as we are constantly adding
updated articles. For questions about Green Education Services, please
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 3:32 am
The Bardessono Hotel, Restaurant and Spa – a new resort located in California’s Napa Valley—has recently received LEED-Platinum certification, making it the only Platinum-rated hotel in the state of California, according to a recent press release. Located in the town of Yountville, the 62-room luxury property opened in February 2009.
"I believe it is critical for the development community to be a leader in the effort to preserve a healthy planet. We can't just continue to talk about environmental problems, we have to begin to act. I hope we have provided an example from which others can benefit," said Phil Sherburne, the hotel’s owner, in the release.
Some of the resort’s numerous sustainable design moves include:
- Integrating over 900 solar panels into the design of the property's flat roofs, providing 200 kilowatts of renewable energy.
- 72 geothermal wells, each 300 ft. deep, that work in concert with a ground source heat pump...
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 3:11 am
Representatives of the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team recently announced that their arena, the Rose Garden, has attained a Gold certification under the auspices of the LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EBOM) rating system.
"The Trail Blazers are proud to play a role in Portland's drive to be the greenest city in the country," said Larry Miller, president of the Portland Trail Blazers, in an article about the achievement. "Today's announcement is a result of the local expertise and innovation helping Portland foster a stronger, more sustainable economy. We don't view this as a one-time achievement, but as an important step toward our long-term goals."
Rose Garden staff implemented a number of green programs that helped the facility reach its high level of LEED certification. In terms of energy, gas and water, the facility upgraded to energy efficient lighting and low-flow plumbing fixtures. The Trail Blazers also partnered with the local electric utility...
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 10:01 am
The new printing plant where the San Francisco Chronicle is printed has recently garnered a Silver designation under the auspices of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), a recent SF Chronicle article reports.
The $200 million, four-story, 335,660 square foot NADEV printing facility is located in Fremont, in the southeastern part of the San Francisco Bay area. It is one of relatively few industrial buildings in the metropolitan area to earn a LEED certification, the article notes. The plant is owned by Transcontinental Printing Inc., a Canadian company. The building consists of a 97,275 square foot press hall and a 238,375 square foot mail room, as well as office space, high bay storage, and mechanical equipment rooms.
The building’s sustainable features include low-flow bathroom fixtures, the use of recycled materials in the building’s exterior walls, and the diversion of over 95 percent of construction waste from landfills. Outside, parking stalls are reserved for...
Monday, February 8, 2010 at 8:19 am
A recent AssociatesDegree.com blog post details 50 distinct ways that 50 universities are tuning into sustainability. Ranging from harnessing green energy sources such as landfill gas and wind power, to incorporating sustainability into the curriculum, food offerings, transport infrastructure, and architecture of campus, the 50 schools highlighted in the post are leading the way toward a greener future. The geographic and size diversity of institutions included in the listing indicate that achieving LEED and other strategies for improving sustainability are not the sole purview of large institutions.
Schools such as Middlebury College and Georgia Tech are making strides in the switchover to green energy sources. Middlebury has constructed a biomass gasification plant onsite, designed to cut the school’s CO2 emissions by 40 percent and its fuel oil consumption by 50 percent. Meanwhile, at Georgia Tech, the Green IT program surveys the university’s entire computing...
Monday, February 8, 2010 at 1:33 am
What is a LEED Green Associate?
As of the summer of 2009, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has made sweeping changes to the LEED credentialing program. These changes, combined with the changes to LEED green building requirements are referred to as Version 3 of LEED (LEED v3) of the credentialing and building certification program. In the past, only one LEED Credential was possible-the LEED Accredited Professional (AP). This credential was meant primarily for professionals who would be directly involved in designing, constructing, or maintaining a green building. In addition to LEED AP, there is now an introductory credential called LEED Green Associate. Not only is obtaining this credential a required prerequisite to becoming a LEED AP+ (The v3 version of a LEED AP), but candidates also have the option of remaining a Green Associate and never moving on to the AP level.
Who would want to become a LEED Green Associate?
Firstly, anyone who...
Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 8:25 am
A recent ABC piece discusses the rise of sustainability in the wine industry, from production methods to power sources. Currently, at least four wineries in California and Oregon have attained LEED certification for their facilities, with more than a dozen currently going through the certification process. This includes California’s Cade winery, which expects to achieve LEED-Gold certification later this year. Wineries that are already Gold-certified include Stoller Vineyards in Dayton, Oregon, and Hall, in California’s Napa Valley, the article said.
The certified facilities each demonstrate a variety of sustainable design strategies that blend high technology with traditional production methods. For example, Hall’s facility in the Napa Valley town of St. Helena features radiant flooring, local and recycled building materials, drought-resistant landscaping, and low-flow fixtures that reduce the facility’s water use by 40 percent compared to a conventionally...
Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 3:47 am
Four recent solar projects undertaken by Wal-Mart at sites across Southern California are demonstrative of the retail giant’s push toward sustainability.
According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, solar panel installations were recently completed at store locations in Paramount, Baldwin Park, and San Bernardino. No specific information about the size of these installations is available, but a GetSolar.com post highlights how such moves dovetail with the chain’s solar plan for California, which was originally launched in 2007. Up to 20 solar installations at locations in the state are planned for the coming year, with the goal of each installation providing up to 30 percent of each store’s energy needs. Ultimately, Wal-Mart expects its California solar program to generate over 30 gigawatts of electricity each year, thereby cutting emissions by over 10,000 metric tons yearly.
Another recently completed Wal-Mart solar project in California can be found in the...
Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 3:36 am
A recent Green Building News article details the certification process of the recently completed Niagara Falls, NY municipal courthouse and police headquarters complex.
The 135,000 square foot, $47 million complex received its certification in December, having scored 23 out of a possible 59 points toward certification. Designed by global megafirm HOK, the project team debunked local perceptions that certification was a costly and time-consuming process.
“The previous administration instructed us not to pursue LEED certification — nobody in the Buffalo area was doing it and there was a perception that it cost a lot of money,” Salvatore LaGambina, vice president of Ciminelli Development Company (the company that managed the complex’s construction), said in the article. “Remember, this was a $47 million project that we got certified for about $30,000, which in the scope of things is nothing.”
“We had the dynamics of changing administrations...
Friday, February 5, 2010 at 1:51 am
LEED for Homes is the oddball of USGBC’s rating systems in many ways. LEED for Homes Providers, Green Raters, and exemption from using LEED-Online are just a few of these differences. An additional noticable difference is the cost of getting a Homes project certified. While initial registration fees for non-Homes projects was recently increased to $900 for USGBC members and $1,200 for non-USGBC members, LEED for Homes registration fees remain more affordable at $150 for USGBC members and $225 for non-USGBC members. Click here to read about the recent changes to fees for non-Homes projects. Certification fees also remain relatively low, especially in the case of single family housing. In the case of multifamily housing, fees not only depend on national USGBC membership, but they also depend on the square footage of the project. Though multifamily projects are eligible for Homes certification, such projects must demonstrate a maximum building height of three...
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 11:34 am
A new classroom building on the Emory University campus in Atlanta recently received a Gold rating from the USGBC, making it the fifth building at the school to do so, according to a recent article.
The 101,920 square foot Goizueta Foundation Center, part of the university’s Goizueta School of Business, shares many of the characteristics common to other LEED-certified buildings on the Emory campus. These include high-efficiency insulation and HVAC systems, as well as low-flow plumbing fixtures, the article said. Additionally, the Goizueta building earned a point for recycling a portion of its construction waste, the first on the campus to do so. It is also the first to feature the inclusion of a cistern dedicated to the collection of rainwater, to irrigate the building’s landscaping.
Altogether, the building’s sustainable features help reduce water consumption by 20 percent, and energy use by 36 percent. Fifty percent of building material used in the...
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 11:03 am
The newest Poland Spring bottling facility in Kingfield, Maine, built in 2008, has received a Gold certification from the USGBC, making it the first manufacturing facility in the state to receive a Gold rating, according to a recent article.
Kingfield’s facility is the bottled water company’s second LEED-certified facility in the state, joining a warehouse expansion in the town of Hollis that earned a Silver designation in October of last year.
The design of the facility saves 70.4 million BTUs of energy each year, conserving approximately 140,000 gallons of water per year, and recycling or diverting 1,478 tons of construction waste from landfill disposal.
The building is constructed from salvaged and recycled materials. Over 20 building materials were sourced locally, having been extracted, harvested, recovered or manufactured within 500 miles of the project.
“We are honored to receive the LEED certification and proud to be Maine’s first manufacturing...
Monday, February 1, 2010 at 7:44 am
The Philadelphia area will gain its first LEED-Platinum certified housing development shortly, with the completion of the Sheldon Crossing infill development in the city’s Manayunk section. Made up of 16 3,600 square foot units, the community will feature a wide variety of sustainable features, according to a recent blog post about the project.
Sheldon Crossing’s homes will feature less energy and water through the incorporation of advanced construction materials, solar panels, vegetative green roofs, high-efficiency Icynene spray foam insulation, and a special Smart Home Automation system that will allow homeowners to track energy use in real time. High-efficiency HVAC systems common to the homes include geothermal heat pumps, heat recovery ventilators, and air purification and exhaust systems that ensure a high level of air quality. Plumbing-wise, tankless water heaters and low-flow bathroom fixtures will further distinguish the homes, which will be offered for sale in...
Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 6:41 am
A new home presently offered for sale in the wealthy enclave of Kahala, near Honolulu, is aiming for a Gold certification under the auspices of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), according to a recent article.
The first home in the neighborhood to achieve LEED certification, the home is not priced for the faint-hearted: a cool $6.68 million will be all that it takes for a would-be owner to purchase the five bedroom, 4.5 bath home.
Built on a site formerly occupied by a three bedroom home built in the 1950s, the house is made up partially of reclaimed materials from that home, including lumber, flooring, and windows. The house is oriented on the site to take advantage of Hawaii’s famous tradewinds, as well as the site’s dramatic ocean view, the article notes.
The home’s green features prove that a sustainable approach to design can still yield a luxurious result. It boasts a 4.6 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system made up of 20 rooftop panels, and a solar hot...
Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 6:17 am
In one of the largest renewable energy deals anywhere to date, a Korean consortium led by Samsung recently inked a deal to build 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar power capacity in Ontario.
Signed on January 21st, the agreement promises to bring thousands of jobs and clean energy to more than 500,000 households in the province, according to recent coverage on the deal.
Ontario’s Green Energy Act is being credited as having laid the foundations for the deal, which will see Samsung building four manufacturing plants in the province, bringing roughly 16,000 jobs to the province over the next five years. These manufacturing plants will be producing wind turbines, wind blades, solar inverters and solar assembly by 2015. Government subsidies provided under the auspices of the Green Energy Act legislation will likely attract other manufacturers to Ontario.
Ontario’s green energy laws require a percentage of equipment for its energy infrastructure to be produced in the province,...
Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 9:49 am
The new Athenaeum at Goucher College in Baltimore has received the 2009 Accomplishment Award from the Maryland state chapter of the USGBC, according to a recent news release. The building, designed by international architecture firm RMJM, was singled out for its green design features, as well as its local impact and its accommodation of student and faculty needs.
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Tryon/RMJM.The 103,000 square foot, four story, $48 million multipurpose building opened in September 2009. It houses a diverse program of spaces, including a library; an open event and performance space; a café; an art gallery; a community service center; a radio station; an exercise studio; and multiple small study and breakout spaces. The building’s application for LEED certification—it is expected to receive a Silver designation—is currently under review.
“We are absolutely delighted to win this prestigious award for sustainable design,” said Phil...
Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 7:55 am
LEED can be applied to individuals and buildings. LEED Accreditation is for individuals while LEED Certification is for buildings.
LEED Accreditation is broken down into three separate tiers and is achieved by taking and ultimately passing the various LEED exams. Everyone must first start with LEED Green Associate and from there move on to become a LEED AP with Specialty (see chart below). The current pass rate for the LEED exams is 34% making a prep course the best option for anyone serious about getting their accreditation.
LEED Certification is awarded to building projects that incorporate a significant amount of sustainability strategies. There is a laundry list of items that a project can do that would benefit the environment. Once a project team decides that they want to attempt LEED certification for their building project, they must follow many requirements to maintain that their project qualifies as a green building through the LEED...
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 8:10 am
The new Physical Science Building at Mesa Community College in Arizona recently achieved LEED Gold certification, according to a recent news release.
The 62,000 square foot facility includes a 52-seat planetarium that is partially powered by rooftop photovoltaic panels donated by the local electric utility, Salt River Project. Inside, an interactive display kiosk allows students to monitor solar energy collected by the panels and see the building’s mechanical systems at work, in order to learn more about sustainability.
New MCC Physical Science Building from Mesa CC on Vimeo.
Designed by the Phoenix office of architecture firm SmithGroup, the $20 million project was completed in fall 2008. The Physical Science Building’s green highlights include a 39 percent reduction in energy use, resulting in a 43 percent cost savings through energy conservation; a 56 percent reduction in potable water use through indoor water conservation measures, and a 63 percent reduction in...
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 7:28 am
The first LEED-certified buildings on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville have recently been dedicated, according to a recent University press release.
In the University’s research park, the Town Center Three office complex has received Gold certification, and the institution’s Printing and Copying Services building has received a Silver certification.
The 90,000 square foot Town Center Three is home to offices for several corporations including Northrop Grumman and Mitre Corporation. Printing and Copying Services is actually a 15,000 square foot addition to an existing facility.
The Town Center Three building’s green highlights include high-efficiency HVAC equipment, a light-reflecting white roof, low-flow and waterless fixtures in the restrooms, and high-efficiency lighting. Also, much of the building’s construction waste was recycled, and Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood was incorporated into the building’s design, as were...
Monday, January 25, 2010 at 8:33 am
Michigan-based homebuilder Pulte Homes has begun to offer residences with solar roofs at two of its Arizona developments, according to a recent Arizona Republic article. The homes are located inside two 55 and over communities run by Del Webb, ones of Pulte’s subsidiaries.
With over 11,000 homes remaining to build in the two Del Webb communities in question, Pulte has stated that it has the potential the dominate the Arizona market for solar residential developments.
The optional solar roofs are outfitted with SunPower solar cells, and cost between $13,000 and $17,000, depending on the model. The price includes a rebate from Arizona Public Service that Pulte takes directly and subtracts from the sale price, according to the article. The SunPower systems include an online interface that will allow homeowners to monitor their cells’ real-time energy output, and measure that against their home’s energy consumption.
Like all major homebuilders, Pulte has worked to...
Monday, January 25, 2010 at 7:44 am
National Grid, a provider of electricity and natural gas throughout New England, recently received a Platinum rating for its new corporate center in the Boston suburb of Waltham, according to a recent article.
The building joins a very select club: it is only the second single-tenant building in the world to earn LEED Platinum certification for both core and shell construction (LEED C&S) and for commercial interiors (LEED CI). National Grid’s building is the fourth Platinum commercial interior project in Massachusetts, as well as the state’s first Platinum core and shell project.
"We are delighted to have earned this prestigious distinction," said Tom King, president of National Grid in the U.S., in a press release. "Our state-of-the art green workspace reflects our passion and commitment to developing innovative energy conservation and efficiency initiatives. We hope this building will inspire others to join us in responding to one of the most...
Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 5:18 am
Last week the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a study that shows that the eastern seaboard of the United States could yield as much of 30 percent of its electricity needs from wind sources by 2024. The study focused on the so-called “Eastern Interconnection,” an interlinked series of six regional power grids that connect the Great Plains to the East Coast and extend from the Canadian border to South Florida. An expensive proposition, to be sure, Grist Magazine notes; but the benefits would be substantial.
“Although significant costs, challenges, and impacts are associated with a 20 percent wind scenario, substantial benefits can be shown to overcome the costs,” the report’s authors wrote. “Such a scenario is unlikely to be realized with a business-as-usual approach, and that a major national commitment to clean, domestic energy sources with desirable environmental attributes would be...
Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 4:38 am
A 130 kW solar array has recently been completed at Dell Computer Corporation’s headquarters, outside of Austin, Texas, according to a recent Jetson Green post. Made up of patented “Solar Trees,” the “solar grove” provides shade for about 50 parking spaces while harnessing clean energy at the same time.
Envision's Solar Trees are the creation of San Diego architect Robert Noble, who is also Envision's CEO.
The result of a partnership between Envision Solar, McBride Electric, BP Solar, and general contractor Weitz Company, the Solar Grove incorporates two Coulomb Technologies CleanCharge solar charging stations for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in its design.
Below, a video from Envision Solar explains how Solar Trees and CleanCharge solar charging stations work.
CleanCharge by Envision Solar from Envision Solar on Vimeo.
The Solar Grove is expected to help the computer manufacturer reduce its carbon footprint by 145,000 tons...
Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 6:31 am
The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is the non-profit that handles the registration and certification process when project teams attempt to get a LEED award for a green building.
Registration is a required first step toward LEED Certification, and should be initiated as early as possible in the development of a building project. This shows that project teams intend on pursuing certification. It establishes communication with GBCI and gives teams access to LEED-Online—the website where project teams upload documentation regarding the green features of the building.
Prior to January 11th, 2010, the registration fee was $450 for United States Green Building Council (USGBC) members, and $600 for non-members. As of January 11th, 2010, the new registration fee will go up to $900 for USGBC members and $1,200 for non-USGBC members. Thus, regardless of USGBC membership, registration fees have doubled.
Certification fees used to depend on three factors:...
Monday, January 18, 2010 at 8:11 am
Federal officials are planning what will become one of the world’s most extensive vertical gardens, on the side of a government office building in downtown Portland, Oregon, according to a recent AP article.
Designers on the project (Portland-based SERA Architects) are proposing a series of 250-foot tall trellises to shade the west side of the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building. These metal “vegetated fins” would jut out from the wall, offering a framework for planters and greenery sprouting along their length.
The west wall of the building is 150 feet long, making the overall area to be shaded about ¾ the size of an NFL playing field, minus the end zones, the article said. Rainwater collected on the roof will be piped for irrigating the green wall.
The work being done to the building is part of a $135 million building-wide remodeling project that is being paid for with federal stimulus funds. It is the largest project associated with the stimulus...
Monday, January 18, 2010 at 7:36 am
Two recently-opened new physics classroom buildings at Texas A&M University are expecting to earn a Silver rating under the LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) rating system, according to a recent article.
The George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy and the George P. Mitchell ’40 Physics Building were dedicated in December 2009. Named for major Texas A&M benefactor George P. Mitchell, the $82.5 million complex was designed by noted architect Michael Graves and his firm, Michael Graves & Associates.
Mr. Mitchell and his wife are among the most financially supportive benefactors in Texas A&M’s 133-year history, according to the article. Along with the gifts for the new buildings, the Mitchells have funded nine academic chairs and professorships, as well as Texas A&M’s participation in the Giant Magellan Telescope.
Construction on the 197,000 square foot complex began in 2006. The 43,700 square foot...
Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 5:22 am
The New York Times recently reported on the awarding of contracts to major energy companies for the construction of thousands of wind turbines along Britain’s coastline.
The project is one of the largest wind power plans in the world, and will begin construction in 2014. Up to 70,000 jobs are expected to be created by 2020 with the initiative, according to the article. The plan will require solving many complex problems created by the siting, construction, and maintenance of the turbines, many of which will be located in water more than 100 feet deep, and up to 180 miles offshore.
According to the Carbon Trust, a group that advises the British government, the initiative will require capital investments to reach up to $120 million, which will have to be raised by energy companies. The plan calls for the construction of 25 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, up from 688 megawatts currently available in Britain today.
The plan is intended to help Britain’s residents reduce...
Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 4:45 am
The headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC have received a Gold designation under the auspices of the LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) certification program, according to a recent article.
The two buildings join an elite group of buildings certified under the LEED-EB program in Washington, making up 20 percent of the group itself. They are also the first buildings owned by any organization affiliated with the United Nations to earn LEED-EB certification.
The certification is an extension of the IMF’s commitment to sustainability, according to the article. In addition to the LEED certifications on the organization’s buildings, their sustainability initiative includes the execution of an annual emissions inventory and ongoing greening of internal operations, focusing on areas such as purchasing and waste management.
Moves undertaken to achieve the certification include the implementation of green cleaning and sustainable purchasing...
Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 5:43 am
As you are likely aware, Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake on January 12th that caused mass destruction and an absolutely unfathomable number of deaths. At this time, they need all the help they can get, so I would encourage you to do whatever you can to help out.
The easiest thing anyone can do is text "HAITI" to 90999 to make a $10 donation that will be added to your phone bill. It is a disaster that has affected not just the entire country but millions of family members spread around the world. Thank you in advance for participating in this effort and for doing your part to help.
Zach Rose, LEED AP
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 12:59 pm
A new education center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park has received Gold certification under the auspices of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), according to a recent article. About two miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the $4.5 million, 15,000 square foot building houses the park’s Air Quality, Vegetation Management, and Inventorying and Monitoring staffs while providing climate-controlled storage for tens of thousands of plant and animal specimens in the park’s natural resource collections. It also houses spaces for visiting researchers, as well as a multipurpose classroom that allows for school groups.
Opened at the end of 2007, the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center incorporates a wide range of practices and materials relating to certification, including minimizing the clearing of the surrounding forest; utilizing boulders uncovered during construction as landscape materials; chipping all trees cut during construction for use as landscape mulch; and...
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm
In a recent press release, international real estate giant Hines announced the certification of its JPMorgan Chase Tower property in Houston, a 75-story skyscraper that originally opened in 1982. Designed by I.M. Pei, the 1.6 million square foot building remains the tallest building in the state of Texas. Hines’ recent upgrades to the property yielded a Gold certification using the LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EBOM) rating system.
Green features in the tower include the integration of low-flow fixtures in the bathrooms; reclamation of non-potable water for irrigation; the replacement of outdated lighting with high-efficiency models; the implementation of a green cleaning program, using environmentally sensitive cleaning products; the establishment of recycling and waste diversion programs for building tenants; and the implementation of an ongoing commissioning program, which will track the building’s energy use.
The building has a current Energy Star...