Chicago-based Veolia ES Solid Waste has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for a new building at its Veolia Evergreen Landfill in Valdosta, Ga. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. This is the first LEED certified building constructed in Valdosta, Ga., according to the company.
“As part of our commitment to developing sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions for the city of Valdosta and Lowndes County, we intentionally pursued LEED certification standards in the development of our new building,” says AJ Rodgers, area manager for Veolia ES Solid Waste Southeast “As a result, we expect to see lower operating costs, increased efficiencies and a healthier work environment for our employees.”
The Veolia building was designed to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use. It also incorporated a variety of other sustainable strategies, according to Veolia. During construction 75 percent of the waste and scrap generated was sent to a recycling facility for remanufacturing or re-use. Ten percent of the building materials used in the construction of the building contained recycled content.
The building earned additional points for being 28 percent more energy efficient than a similar non-LEED design building and for operating with 35 percent more water efficiency than a similar non-LEED design building. Additionally, 44 percent of all building materials were manufactured locally.
“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” says Denise Grabowkski, chair of USGBC Georgia Chapter. “The Veolia project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”
Veolia’s new building will be used as a scale house and as an on-site administrative office.
Veolia says LEED certification is an important element its sustainability strategy. The company recently celebrated the LEED certification of its North American headquarters office in downtown Chicago’s Aon Building. That project was awarded Gold Level LEED certification in June 2010.