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Like a Tree at Bernheim Arboretum

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The visitor center at the Bernheim Arboretum in Clairmont, Kentucky, which was completed in 2005, continues to garner attention.  In 2007, it was awarded LEED Platinum certification.  Most recently, the visitor center has received the EPA's prestigious Lifecycle Building Challenge Award.  This is the third year that the EPA has held the challenge where entrants are judged on their building's ability to minimize waste, reduce energy consumption, and be disassembled for material reuse.  The visitor center took an award in the Building–Professional Built category and an Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Greenhouse Gas Reduction. 

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A Platinum Green Jobs Training Ground

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Hocking College — a two-year technical college in Nelsonville, Ohio — has trained its students for jobs in Ohio's manufacturing sector since 1968.  As these jobs began leaving the state, Hocking College saw the potential for growth in alternative energy jobs.  The school launched the Energy Institute in 2002, with just three students to offer training in advanced energy and fuel cells.  Enrollment has since increased to 125 students and the curriculum has also expanded to include hybrid and plug-in vehicle courses, as well as courses about wind and solar power. 

The school's newly completed building, located in Hocking County, reflects Hocking College's commitment to participating in the new green economy.  The 12,200 square-foot building is on track to become the first higher education building in Ohio to receive LEED Platinum certification.  

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Scottsdale Firehouse Gets LEED Platinum

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Scottsdale, Arizona is one of a growing number of American cities that have inserted LEED into their building code.  Scottsdale set the bar quite high with a LEED Gold requirement, but that wasn't going to limit these architects.  When father-and-son architects Lawrence and Lance Enyart of LEA Architects were chosen in 2005 to design the 14,350 square-foot firehouse, they decided to shoot for LEED Platinum.  Lance Enyart said, "Gold was the mandate, but for us it wasn't about points that we could achieve, it was about implementing strategies that were project appropriate."  

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St. Louis High School Seeks Platinum

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The new science and library building at Crossroads College Preparatory School, located in the city of St. Louis, is seeking LEED Platinum certification.  If obtained, it will be the first K-12 school in St. Louis to earn certification.  Head of School Billy Handmaker* was committed to achieving the highest level of certification possible, while still spending within the budget and ending up with a good looking building.  He said, "from the beginning, we said 'we want Platinum, but won't compromise."

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Sweetwater HQ Gets LEED Platinum

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About four years ago, Indiana based audio and music equipment supplier Sweetwater Sound Inc. began running out of space and started looking for other options.  After ruling out the ability to add to their existing facility, they decided to build something new.

The goal was to create something special for Fort Wayne and have the building resonate with the employees, almost all of whom are musicians and have an interest in the environment.  The architecture firm MSKTD suggested that they pursue LEED certification, and after a visit to Herman Miller's LEED Gold facility in Holland Michigan, they were sold.

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Maine Supermarket Gets LEED Platinum

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There are roughly 85,000 supermarkets in America.  Generally speaking, they are artificially lit boxes surrounded by dark asphalt and contain row upon row of doorless display refrigerators.  There is, to say the least, room for improvement.  Hannaford, which has about 160 supermarkets in the northeast, decided to try something completely new and on July 25th opened the first LEED Platinum certified supermarket, which is located in Augusta, Maine.  With Maine's governor, John Baldacci, in attendance, the plaque was personally awarded at the opening by Rick Fedrizzi, president of the USGBC. 

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