April 22, 2009

Earth Day: Sustainable Museums Everywhere

Virtually every museum construction project is either going for "green design" or a full LEED rating. As community leaders, this only makes sense. One of the lesser know facts about the LEED system is that you don't have to build a new building or even renovate an old one to become LEED certified. The LEED for Existing Buildings rating system provides guidelines for operations and maintenance that will make an existing building more efficient.

I am reminded of this because I got a message today from president of the US Green Building Council today with an Earth Day challenge for every member:
I’d like to challenge each and every member of USGBC to identify an existing building within your own portfolio to green. Start with the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance checklist, identify the low-cost/no-cost improvements, and get on the path to greater gains.
The challenge is especially interesting because he poses it in the context of the economic downturn, asking "Has the economic crisis crushed the green movement?" The answer is "No!" Rather, it is a real opportunity to talk about the economic value of going green.
Adobe Systems Inc. is saving $1.2 million annually and getting a 121% ROI on their commitment to green operations and maintenance. How much can you put back in your bottom line?
Information about LEED for Existing Buildings is available here: LEED for Existing Buildings. The checklist is here: LEED EB/OM Checklist. (Note that the checklist is the current version which will be replaced April 27th with the roll out of LEED Version 3.0.)

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