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.
Three years ago, Macalester College decided to build a new home for its Institute for Global Citizenship (IGC), a program that educates students to become global citizen leaders. The building, Markim Hall, which was named for Mark and Kim Stricker, was designed to attain LEED Platinum certification as a way of reflecting the program's commitment to global leadership. Currently, there are 12 college campus buildings in the country that have achieved platinum-level certification, and Markim Hall is one of only two campus buildings in Minnesota designed to earn LEED Platinum certification.
The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), which officially opens on July 16, 2009, is at the bleeding edge of green building. It's located on the 195-acre campus of the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, an education and retreat center. Not only is it on track to achieve LEED Platinum, it may be the first building in America to meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge.
When you think of manufactured homes, you might think of the ranch house with vinyl siding that you gingerly pass on the interstate as it travels on the back of a wide-load truck. You might also think about a LEED Platinum home and imagine a roof spotted with photovoltaic panels, windmill in the front yard, and geothermal dug deep into the ground. The newest offering from New World Home turns both of these ideas on their heads.
Green building detractors often point to the lack of hard numbers on how green buildings actually perform in the real world. As time goes on we'll have a better information as to how all LEED Platinum buildings perform, but for now, we have this success story. Ohlone College's Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology is celebrating a year of energy conservation and has the numbers to back it up. The 128,000 square-foot facility was completed in early 2008, and received LEED Platinum in August of 2008. It's the first community college to receive such a high certification, and after operating for one year, here's what the numbers tell us: