LEED Gold Certification—A Commitment to Sustainability
Sustainable building practices are on the rise and that’s good news because buildings account for almost 40 percent of all carbon emissions. LEED, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. It is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, and is available for virtually all building, community, and home project types. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.
About the LEED Rating System
The LEED rating system was created 20 years ago by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform buildings and communities by leveraging environmentally and socially responsible practices that aim to improve overall quality of life. The rating system is used to measure and define green building and to provide a roadmap for developing sustainable buildings. It is continually updated and with each new version LEED, USGBC challenges the building sector to be more resource-efficient and sustainable.
Green buildings offer lower energy costs and better indoor environmental quality in addition to having lower life-cycle operating costs. According to data published on the USGBC website, LEED certified buildings offer the following benefits:
- Instant recognition for your building
- Faster lease up rates
- Higher resale value
- Healthier indoor space
- Lower use of energy, water and other resources
- Better for building occupants, the community and the environment
- Enhances your brand and establishes you as a leader in green building
What It Takes to Achieve LEED Gold Certification
In 2015, OSRAM relocated its Americas regional headquarters to Wilmington, MA and began the process of combining multiple facilities under one roof within the Boston area technology corridor. As part of the project, OSRAM identified several business goals that the new location had to address including workspace flexibility to support a more mobile workforce; a modern, dynamic workplace that fostered innovation, focus and learning; a first-class customer experience center; and LEED Gold certification. LEED Gold certification exemplifies OSRAM’s historic focus on sustainability innovations and the company’s commitment to protecting the environment.
To achieve LEED Gold certification as a Commercial Interiors project, OSRAM optimized energy performance through energy-efficient lighting, use of occupancy sensors and enhanced building commissioning. Aspects of design and construction that garnered LEED points included using construction materials that incorporated 30 percent recycled content; reducing transportation-related emissions by selecting 20 percent of the materials used from manufacturing facilities within a 500 mile radius of the OSRAM building site; diverting 75 percent of construction waste from the local landfill to recycling facilities; and using low emitting materials to reduce harmful fumes and improve indoor air quality. LEED points were awarded as well for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle storage and changing rooms, and ergonomic workstations for all employees.
Additionally, OSRAM was awarded an “Active design” innovative design credit for the staircase in the lobby. Pursuing LEED Gold certification was a pledge made by senior management in the early phase of the relocation process, in support of OSRAM’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Lighting System Benefits: LEED Points and More
In addition to acquiring points toward LEED certification, the ENCELIUM® EXTEND Light Management System (LMS) was selected due to its flexibility, scalability, range of advanced control strategies and remote monitoring capabilities. Teams of employees moved to the facility over a period of several years, and the flexibility of the ENCELIUM EXTEND System proved to be invaluable. Adjustments to office space layouts, conference room and collaboration area locations and sizes, while also moving cross-functional working teams in close proximity to one another, has been ongoing and critical to the company’s success. In addition, unfinished space originally earmarked for a customer experience and training center as well as additional worker space was fitted out a few years after initial occupation. The ENCELIUM EXTEND System supported all required modifications, often remotely, through Polaris 3D® Light Management Software.
LEED Release Update
In April 2019, USGBC officially released LEED v4.1, its latest version of its rating system. LEED v4.1 emphasizes the human experience and pushes project teams to create spaces that not only reduce carbon emissions, energy, water use and waste, but also improve the health and well-being of the people who live, work, learn and play in these buildings, cities and communities every day.
Learn how OSRAM achieved LEED Gold Certification for its North American Headquarters by downloading the case study below.