Building Management

What does it really take to achieve LEED Platinum Certification?

Not all organizations choose to enact green practices in their buildings. And among those organizations that do adopt green building practices, only a few aim to achieve LEED Platinum Certification. These organizations believe that making worldwide progress on sustainability issues is important enough to set an example for others to follow.  One such organization is Earth Rangers, a Canadian non-profit that promotes the importance of protecting biodiversity.

 

Earth Rangers demonstrates to children and adults through their biodiversity programs that green initiatives can be implemented in ways that are practical and economic. They educate kids and help them to proactively participate in different habitat and wildlife protection projects across Canada to learn about biodiversity. Core to the message of biodiversity is the ideal of sustainability, both in nature and the workplace.

 

As a champion of sustainability, they felt a certain sense of accountability on ensuring their facility was energy efficient and not damaging to the environment. When they decided to get serious about sustainability, they turned to Schneider Electric. Today, Earth Rangers’ 60,000 square foot facility just outside Toronto is one of the most energy efficient buildings in Canada and LEED Platinum Certified.

 

After incorporating sustainable technologies to reduce their center’s carbon footprint, including solar panels and a green roof, they realized that they needed better visibility on energy usage in their building. They wanted to see where they were using energy and take control of energy consumption. An integrated solution encompassing HVAC and lighting controls, power monitors, UPS, lighting fixtures, security cameras, and dual EV charging stations enabled them to achieve their goals.

 

But even with all the tools in place to make their facility among the greenest in the world, without energy operation management software installed, they would not have been able to efficiently turn energy data into actionable information. Today, their center consumes less than 9 equivalent kilowatt hours per square foot a year (83% less energy than the average building in Canada). They were also able to achieve 20% reduction in year-over-year energy consumption and CO2 savings equal to 444.2 tons.

 

Earning LEED Platinum Certification is a comprehensive process. A building project must meet all requirements during a rigorous evaluation of building system efficiency, sustainability, water efficiency, materials used for construction, and environmental quality. It’s not for the faint of heart. Earth Rangers was successful in their effort because they are truly dedicated and they believe in sustainability. Any organization seeking to achieve LEED Platinum certification must have the same level of commitment, and a partner that can help them reach their sustainability and energy efficiency goals.


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