For the second time, the Maryland Environmental Service Headquarters Building achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Under USGBC’s rating system, MES HQ scored 75 points out of a maximum 79 points under the Gold Level category.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system that measures the success and impact of a building’s sustainability efforts. MES achieved LEED Gold Certification for “Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance Rating System.” This covers seven categories of evaluation – Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Design and Regional Priority.
Sustainable Sites: This category covers the building exterior, grounds and automobile emissions. The LEED rating system recognizes the environmental characteristics and management of these features. MES HQ achieved points for the building’s reflective roof, native plantings and reduction in the use of harmful chemicals used outdoors. The telecommuting program resulted in LEED credits for the reduction of automobile trips to and from work. The stormwater management program was effective in maintaining HQ’s bay-friendly stormwater infiltration strategy.
Water Efficiency: Our Headquarters uses less water than a similar building and water use is monitored to prevent excessive consumption. MES HQ also captures rainwater from the roof and stores it in a 5,000 gallon underground cistern for use in our drip irrigation program. This process has eliminated the need to use fresh water for irrigating the site’s landscaping.
Energy and Atmosphere: This section covers all energy using systems in the building and the process to keep them operating at peak efficiency, called commissioning. The MES solar facility provides a significant amount of the building’s electricity. Education and solar facility tours, available to the public, earned MES a LEED innovation credit.
MES participation in Energy Star and production of renewable energy also helped in this category. Energy Star, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy, helps members save money and protects the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Energy Star benchmarks energy use among similar buildings on a scale of 1-100. MES HQ has received the Energy Star designation for the past four years and achieved an impressive performance rating of 94 for the most recent year.
Materials and Resources: This category rewards buildings for sustainable purchasing and effective recycling programs. MES conducted annual waste stream audits and employee electronic recycling events and tracked and managed an in-house recycling program. Sustainable purchases were encouraged and tracked. MES buys Energy Star compliant equipment and achieved a 100 percent recycling or reuse rate for obsolete electronics.
Indoor Environmental Quality: This category covers the quantity and quality of air inside MES Headquarters. Meeting these requirements ensures that the HVAC system delivers an adequate amount of outside air into the building and that chemicals associated with cleaning are tracked and minimized.
Chief of Administrative Services Frank Babusci, Grants Administrator Ted Kluga and Administrator Ryan Schwabenbauer led the LEED project team and numerous MES employees contributed their time and expertise to achieving LEED gold.
In the certification letter from USGBC, Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chairman said, “LEED certification identifies Maryland Environmental Service Headquarters Building as a showcase example of sustainable design and demonstrates your leadership in transforming the building industry.”