On the cusp of the official switch to the LEED 2009 rating systems, two projects have recently become LEED Gold certified firsts – a renovated higher education building and a church in the Southeast.


College of Health and Human Services – Kalamazoo, Michigan

Western Michigan University’s (WMU) College of Health and Human Services building also recently received LEED Gold certification.  The building was certified under version 2.0 of the LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) rating system and is the first higher education project in the country to receive Gold level certification using the EB checklist.

The building, designed by SmithGroup, was first opened in the summer of 2005.  A few of the eco-friendly features used in the 200,000 square foot building include cork flooring and motion activated lighting, heating, and cooling systems.


Umstead Park United Church of Christ – Raleigh, North Carolina

The 32,000 square foot Umstead Park United Church of Christ recently received LEED Gold certification; the congregation’s building is the first LEED Gold certified church in the Southeast.  The church is owned by the congregation and BBH Design, which was the architectural firm behind the redesign.

“The building is a reflection of the theology of Umstead Park UCC, which includes respect for the earth as God’s creation, said the Rev. Doug Long, the church pastor. “For us, there’s an obvious connection between the creator and the creation, so how we treat the creation is directly related to how we express our love for the creator,” he said.”  Source: Carolina Newswire

Rev. Doug Long provided the following before and after pictures of the building.


On a related topic, the LEED rating systems have undergone a large overhaul.  LEED 2009 (also known as version 3.0) is available now and beginning June 27, all new projects will be required to register under the LEED 2009 certification system.  I have discussed the changes to the LEED for New Construction checklist and I’ve also provided a brief introduction to the inclusion of regional priority credits in the newest release.

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