Leed Certification – Is this the Future for Shopping Malls in America?
Is LEED© Certification Effective: A Case Study of Destiny USA
Guest post by Rob Schoeneck
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LEED© & Destiny USA The Impact of LEED© Gold Certification A Call to Action for Business Leaders
At Destiny USA there’s always a lot of buzz generated around our LEED© certification. When we began the expansion, we wanted to continue the commitment to the environment we began when first building Carousel Center in 1990. Now, having just celebrated our one-year anniversary as Destiny USA, we are proud to be recognized not only as a premier shopping center, but as the largest LEED© Gold commercial retail building in the world. Yet with all the talk around LEED©, many are left wondering what it really means and whether it’s actually beneficial.
LEED© stands for “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design” and is a program run by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide a universal framework for implementing green building design and construction. In addition to the LEED© program, the USGBC offers educational resources, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates and serves as the host of the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo. Furthermore, they’re driving the green movement within all levels of local and national government.
So that is what LEED© is at a high level, but what does it mean for Destiny USA? Destiny USA was rated Gold for “Core & Shell,” which focuses on constructing an eco-conscious, sustainable build-out that will ultimately be filled with tenants. The rating system goes Certified > Silver > Gold > Platinum, and is further broken down into a points system. As you can see in the report card below, out of the 62 total points available, Destiny USA earned 36 to qualify for the Gold rating.
Here’s a quick break down of what the scoring system actually entails:
Sustainable sites: Choose a site where there is minimal disruption of green space and where public services and transportation are readily available. During site construction pollution is reduced by preventing waterway sedimentation, airborne dust, and soil erosion.
Water Efficiency: Reduce reliance and taxation on local water supply and wastewater systems by implementing water efficiency efforts.
Energy & Atmosphere: Reduce energy use through correct installation and calibration of energy systems, set a minimum level of energy efficiency to reduce environmental impact, and ultimately reduce stratospheric ozone depletion.
Material & Resources: Collect and recycle as much waste as possible to prevent hauling and disposal of waste in landfills.
Indoor Environmental Quality: Enhance indoor air quality by setting minimum thresholds and preventing and/or minimalizing exposure to tobacco smoke.
Innovation in Design: Go above and beyond what’s already outlined in previous categories by addressing local environmental concerns, and by employing a LEED© accredited professional.
If you would like to see the full article and download their PDF… Click Destiny USA