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Loudoun County Green Building Efforts Pay Off in LEED Silver | Environment

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Loudoun County Green Building Efforts Pay Off in LEED Silver
Loudoun County Green Building Efforts Pay Off in LEED Silver

Loudoun County has been awarded its first LEED-certified Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) for a county government capital project. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system.  The Loudoun County Homeless Services Center has just earned a Silver certification with 38 credits, just one point away from a Gold rating.

The LEED Silver certification was earned through a combination of green building and energy-saving practices which are now standard for all new county capital projects. These practices include reducing the use of water through dual-flush toilets, low-flow urinals, shower heads and lavatories, storage and collection of recyclables, extensive use of recycled content building materials and incorporation of rapidly renewable building materials. Ninety percent of the project’s building materials were regionally obtained.  Interior air quality was improved for the health and well-being of the building occupants by using only low-volatile, organic compound-emitting sealants, paints, adhesives, carpets and composite wood products.

The Homeless Services Center building is also energy efficient and was designed to use 33% less energy than a similar type of building of typical construction through increased insulation, high efficiency HVAC equipment, on-demand hot water and energy star appliances. In addition, the project incorporates a 9.5 kilowatt solar panel system mounted on the roof which provides approximately 12% of the center’s total electrical needs. 

The Homeless Services Center was designed by Architecture, Incorporated, and built as an expansion of the existing Transitional Housing Program facility located on Meadowview Court.  In addition to the Transitional Housing Program, the facility includes the Emergency Homeless Shelter, Emergency Cold Weather Shelter and the daytime Drop-In Center.  In 2010, the county received a Virginia Association of Counties Achievement Award recognizing the center, which opened in 2009, as an innovative program.

Loudoun continues to be a leader in sustainable construction and has 12 other projects registered with the USGBC for certification. The county expects to receive a LEED Gold rating on the new Loudoun County Youth Shelter next and LEED Silver on several other projects now under construction, including the Bluemont Community Center renovation, the Lucketts Community Center renovation and the Eastern Loudoun Respite Center.