LEEDing the Way

Buildings are an integral part of our world and provide shelter, privacy, comfort, and safety. Buildings influence the way we live, affect our health, and have a profound impact on our natural environment. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, buildings in the United States account for 39% of total energy use, 12% of total water consumption, 68% of total electricity consumption, and 38% of the carbon dioxide emissions. So, how can we reduce the impact buildings have on the environment while still servicing our needs? The answer is to build green!

Green building is the practice of designing, constructing, renovating, and operating structures in a manner that minimizes their impact to the environment, utilizes resources efficiently, and protects the health of its occupants. The nationally accepted benchmark for green building is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the LEED rating system provides a framework for implementing practical and measurable green building solutions. Buildings can qualify for four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – Platinum certification being the highest level of green performance.  

As of January 2014, five projects in Coconut Creek were LEED certified. The Promenade, located at the corner of Lyons Road and Wiles Road, was the first LEED certified project in the City and received LEED Silver certification level. Followed by Kohl’s, located at the corner of Hillsboro Boulevard and State Road 7; SunTrust Bank at the Promenade, PNC Bank at the corner of Hillsboro Boulevard and State Road 7; and most recently, the City’s new Public Works Administration Building, which earned LEED Silver. All of these projects contain sustainable design techniques such as drought tolerant landscaping, high reflective roof treatment, high efficiency HVAC equipment, water efficient fixtures, preferred parking for low-emitting/fuel efficient vehicles, and green housekeeping, just to name a few.  

Coconut Creek adopted standards for green building in 2008 for all new construction and major redevelopment projects. This means more and more buildings throughout the City will be green and sustainable, thereby reducing our impact on the environment. Requiring green building is ambitious, but it’s also socially responsible. To learn more about green building, visit any of the following websites:

• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/ 

• U.S. Green Building Council: https://www.usgbc.org/ 

• Coconut Creek Living Green: https://coconutcreek.net/sd/living_green 

 If you have questions, please contact Jim Hetzel, Senior Planner – Sustainable City Coordination for City of Coconut Creek, at [email protected] or 954.956.1468.

You can read more about City’s Green Plan and GHG emissions by visiting www.coconutcreek.net/sd/city-green-plan and if you have questions, contact Jim Hetzel, Senior Planner – Sustainable City Coordination for City of Coconut Creek at [email protected] or 954.956.1468. 

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