Although version 3 of the LEED rating systems has only recently been released, the first Platinum certified project has been completed. It should come as no surprise that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), home of the LEED green building certification system, is the first to achieve LEED v3 Platinum certification.

The USGBC moved into the two-story, 75,000-square-foot facility in March 2009. Due to the green building boom, the organization has seen tremendous growth and quickly outgrew its old headquarters. The USGC is currently working with more than 35,000 projects in 50 states and 91 countries. These project managers can now look to the USGBC building as a shining example of what a LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) Platinum project looks like.

In order to achieve LEED-CI Platinum certification, a project must obtain at least 80 out of 110 available points. The USGBC headquarters received 94 total points. The point breakdown includes 19/21 points in Sustainable Sites, 11/11 in Water Efficiency, 36/37 in Energy & Atmosphere, 8/14 in Materials & Resources, 11/17 in Indoor Environmental Quality, 6/6 in Innovation in Design, and 3/4 Regional Priority Credits.

Eco-friendly features in the building allow for a 40% reduction in water use and more than 50 percent reduction in energy use, when compared to similar non-green office buildings. The facility also uses a real-time energy usage feedback system, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and electronic window shades.

“The elevator lobby, reception and conference breakout areas are clad in 500-year-old gumwood that was salvaged from the bottom of the Tennessee River. Carved into a two-story section of the gumwood paneling is an off-centered relief of the USGBC logo that clearly brands the space.“ Source: USGBC (PDF)

The USGBC will be hosting tours of the facility that are open to the public. The organization has created a Learning Pathway corridor to showcase the eco-friendly design features used in the office space. Flashcards describing all of the materials used, a display of the actual performance data from the building, and a timeline of the green building movement are just a few of the educational features included in the building.

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