Three LEED projects contributing to Virginia’s ranking on the Top 10 States | U.S. Green Building Council
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Read about three recent LEED projects that achieved certification in Virginia.

Virginia ranked ninth on USGBC’s list of Top 10 States for LEED in 2017. This marks the seventh consecutive year Virginia has made the Top 10 States list!

LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for occupants and the community at large. LEED supports state and local strategies to mitigate climate change and increase sustainable development. More than 91,000 projects are participating in LEED worldwide, with more than 2.2 million square feet certifying every day.

In Virginia, a total of 152 projects earned LEED certification in 2017, totaling more than 18.59 million square feet and representing 2.32 square feet of certified space per capita. Our USGBC Greater Virginia community regularly showcases these stellar buildings, including these recently certified projects:

The Varina Area Library is LEED Silver

Varina Area Library. Photo credit: Henrico County.

Varina Area Library, Henrico County

The subject of a January 2018 tour with the USGBC Virginia community, the new Varina Area Library in Henrico County provides residents with two floors of diverse collections, meeting areas, a teaching kitchen, reading rooms and outdoor plaza and patio spaces. The project achieved LEED Silver certification in April 2017.

Development of the building focused on preserving the surrounding landscape, with over 80 percent of the site maintained as open space using native landscaping and lighting designed to minimize light pollution. The striking building blends with its site using regionally quarried sandstone on the exterior and large windows for daylit interiors. Low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce potable water use by nearly 40 percent, and energy-efficient building systems use 31 percent less energy per square foot than the old library.

The Greer Environmental Sciences Center is LEED Gold

Greer Environmental Sciences Center. Photo credit Alan Karchmer.

Greer Environmental Sciences Center, Virginia Wesleyan University, Virginia Beach

The Greer Environmental Sciences Center was certified LEED Gold with the intent to teach students and visitors about the importance of sustainability in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The first LEED project certified in Virginia in 2018, the center hosted a USGBC New Year’s networking social in the Hampton Roads community.

The interior is finished with polished concrete flooring and reclaimed Mississippi River “sinker cypress,” and the exterior features natively planted wetland areas for stormwater management and erosion control. The building was outfitted with two performance dashboards showing real-time building data that is used as a learning tool. Additionally, interior and exterior signage about the building’s green features help the structure function as a three-dimensional textbook for environmental stewardship.

The Rotunda at the University of Virginia is LEED Silver

Rotunda. Photo credit UVA Communications.

The Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville

The Rotunda at the University of Virginia received LEED Silver certification in 2017 after a significant restoration of the almost 200-year-old structure, originally designed by Thomas Jefferson. This project is one of only three LEED-certified buildings at a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The other two are also located at the university—Pavilion IX and Pavilion X.

The restoration preserved much of the building’s historic fabric, and more than 95 percent of the materials removed during demolition were recycled. New HVAC and lighting systems were designed to be energy-efficient, and the interior spaces were renovated to improve occupant comfort. The updated building will be part of a LEED building tour with the USGBC Greater Virginia community this spring.

Visit the USGBC Greater Virginia website for more information about these projects, and sign up for our newsletter to learn about future LEED tours and education seminars.

Do you have a LEED-certified project in Virginia that you’d like to feature? Email us, or update your LEED project profile.

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