The Columbia Public Works Department has announced the city has achieved LEED Gold certification.
Columbia is part of a growing group to be certified using the LEED for Cities rating system. The city becomes the first city or county in South Carolina to receive LEED certification and joins a group of 40 cities or counties worldwide to garner this recognition for its sustainability and resilience achievements. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is the world’s most widely used green building rating system.
“It is an honor to be the first city or county in South Carolina to ever receive LEED certification, “ Mayor Daniel Rickenmann said. “Our city didn’t just gain certification but was knocking on the doorsteps to achieve the highest level of certification. We still have so much we can do to make our city more sustainable and inclusive for everyone, but this truly shows how much we are actively doing to make Columbia a better city to live, work and play.”
Columbia earned LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at improving sustainability and the standard of living for residents. LEED is designed to help buildings, communities and cities achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. The categories that LEED uses to grade a project and why they are good for business and people are:
• Integrative Process
• Natural Systems and Ecology
• Transportation and Land Use
• Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
• Water Efficiency
• Materials and Resources
• Quality of Life
• Innovation and Regional Priorities
“Transforming our communities and cities to be more sustainable happens structure by structure, block by block and neighborhood by neighborhood,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO, of USGBC. “As the first city in the state to achieve LEED for Cities and Communities certification, Columbia is leading in the state by setting goals and deploying strategies that are appropriate for its local environment and residents. The work that Columbia does in ensuring a more sustainable future is vital for not only its residents but for all South Carolinians”
LEED enables Columbia to measure and track outcomes and are evaluated against metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability. This recognition also allows Columbia to apply for additional grants that will assist with the city’s continued efforts to become more sustainable and resilient.