San José honored for LEED Platinum “Green Enterprise” facility

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The U.S. Green Building Council will recognize the City of San José as a leader in green building and sustainability on Feb. 27 with a plaque presentation honoring the San José Environmental Innovation Center (EIC), a sustainability showcase featuring eco-friendly tenants and programs.

The EIC achieved the highest level of certification earning LEED Platinum for BD+C: New Construction, which includes major renovation. San José City Hall is certified LEED Platinum for LEED O+M: Existing Buildings. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, helps buildings and communities achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. It is the most widely used green building rating system and an international symbol of excellence.

Before the plaque presentation at 11:15 a.m., USGBC representatives will host a workshop on the LEED certification process for developers and builders that will help new construction in the city meet sustainability standards.

Originally a wax paper factory, the EIC was overhauled through a collaboration between the San José Environmental Services and Public Works departments and Group 4 Architecture. It debuted in 2014 and completed the LEED certification process in 2019.

“I want to thank the U.S. Green Building Council for recognizing this unique, pioneering facility and the partnership that built it,” said Kerrie Romanow, Director of ESD and the Chief Sustainability Officer for San José. “Though it predates Climate Smart San José, the City’s climate action plan, the EIC is truly a Climate Smart building and a model for how our community can improve not only energy and water efficiency but also quality of life.”

The LEED Platinum certification is the latest recognition of the City’s environmental leadership. Last year, San José became the first city in California to earn LEED Platinum certification, a new USGBC program recognizing cities’ efforts to improve sustainability and quality of life.

“Transforming our buildings and spaces happens one project at a time. San Jose understands the value LEED delivers to both buildings and cities and has shown extraordinary leadership in reshaping their community,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, USGBC. “The success of LEED is due to the partnership and support of those committed to advancing green building and sustainability. Each new LEED certification brings us one step closer to improving the living standard for all.”

The EIC has more than 20 green features, including solar-tracking skylights, electric vehicle charging stations, composting toilets, drought-tolerant landscaping, pervious pavement and a 1,164-panel solar power system. The EIC is a zero net energy facility, generating more energy than it consumes.

For more information on the EIC, visit www.sjenvironment.org/EIC. To learn more about USGBC and LEED, go to usgbc.org.

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