We have achieved LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors Certification for our office space at 524 S Gay Street! Through a nine part mini-series, we would like to walk you through our strategies for achieving this level of Certification.
Part 1: Site Selection
“As non-urban development increases, the importance of prudent site selection increases as well. Prevention of habitat encroachment is an essential element of sustainable site selection. The best strategy for selecting a building site is to choose a previously developed site. Because these sites have already been disturbed, further damage to the environment is limited and sensitive land areas can be preserved. This prevents the need for expanded transportation and utility infrastructure and likely affords building occupants more access to alternative transportation, further limiting the overall environmental impact of the development project.” -US Green Building Council
By choosing to build downtown, we are avoiding sites that should remain undeveloped as well as taking advantage of the amenities of downtown. We are avoiding:
1. Developing prime farmland (which would be counter to local food production and land preservation)
2. Developing in a flood plain or wetland (which could put the building’s durability- and certain wildlife species- at risk)
3. Developing near a water body (which could compromise water quality)
We are taking advantage of:
1. Close proximity to other businesses
2. Close proximity to the residential neighborhoods where we all live (allowing walking and biking commutes)
3. Close proximity to public transportation (reducing vehicle miles traveled)
In the end, this was an easy strategy; it only took some planning from the beginning. We were able to do our part to reduce the damaging effects of suburban sprawl while supporting the revitalization of our downtown.
Next stop: Part 2: Alternative Transportation