Sustainable design and construction, or 'green building,' is a holistic approach that minimizes environmental impact, reduces maintenance, and creates a more desirable workspace for the building occupants.
Green building focuses on siting issues, energy and water efficiency, recycled content building materials, minimizing local and global environmental effects caused by buildings, and indoor environmental quality. The goal is to transform the market of public funded construction, so that all projects will be designed and constructed reflecting green building principles.
LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Department of Enterprise Services (formerly General Administration) has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council since 1998. The U.S. Green Building Council is a national consensus-based organization of government agencies, design firms, product manufacturers and developers. The primary product of the U.S. Green Building Council is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System. The LEED rating system is recognized nationally and internationally as the green building design standard. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) along with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) provides the infrastructure for updating LEED, LEED training, accreditation of professionals and certification of buildings. It also serves as a focal point for Green Building professionals through conferences, a website and subcommittee activities.
Cities, states and school districts nationwide have used LEED in Executive Orders, legislation, resolutions and other forms of legal commitment as the green building standard. Locally, Seattle has committed in 2000 that all new construction will be built to LEED Silver standard. Our State Legislature passed legislation in 2005 that requires LEED Silver certification for all new state agency, state college and university and K-12 school construction and major renovation projects over 5,000 square feet. This demonstrates that our leaders are committed to green building.