It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a LEED green building news roundup and there have been several LEED firsts over the past few weeks that I wanted to mention. LEED is growing in popularity and so LEED firsts are harder to come by, however there is still a lot of opportunity for growth in the green building industry.

Canada’s first LEED Gold certified auto dealership

Stratford Toyota in Ontario recently celebrated the opening of its LEED Gold certified facility, the first LEED Gold dealership in Canada.

First Federal Bank

The First Federal Bank branch in the Lowes Food Store on South College Road in Wilmington, North Carolina recently became the first in-store bank to receive a LEED certification. The 330-square foot branch was designed from the ground up to achieve LEED certification. Construction materials with high recycled content were used in building the in-store branch. Now that it is complete, it also features energy-efficient equipment and other measures that help reduce the branch’s overall energy use.

Baltimore Medical System

Green health care facilities make sense. If you’re ill it is important that you are cared for by competent staff but also provided this care in a healthy environment. Patients at the Highlandtown Healthy Living Center, operated by Baltimore Medical System, can rest easy because the facility received a LEED Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. This makes the facility the first LEED Platinum certified federally qualified health center in the nation.

The 32,000 square-foot facility serves nearly 22,000 patients that are typically underserved – uninsured individuals, those that don’t speak English, and others that are often overlooked by the mainstream medical facilities.

In order to earn a LEED Platinum rating, a bevy of green building and design measures were used. In addition to the green building standards like low-VOC adhesives and paints, the use of products with recycled content and the like, the facility also features some changes that are unique to health care centers. For instance, the windows don’t have curtains.

While the initial thought is that this allows for more sunlight, the main reason behind it is curtains are often a trigger for asthma. It is the little things like this that make an eco-minded health care facility so important to its patients.

For more information about the facility, visit the Baltimore Medical System website.

Photo: ThreadedThoughts/Flickr

LEED firsts: Autos, banks, and hospitals
Although the LEED rating system has been in place for years, there are still LEED firsts being achieved by projects around the world.