LEED Certification/Environmental Commitment
As part of NSF's ongoing commitment to protect the environment, NSF adopted the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ during the expansion of their Michigan-based corporate headquarters. The LEED system encourages sustainable green building and development practices. This third-party certification ensures that the project is environmentally responsible, profitable, and is a healthy place to work.
LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability in recognizing performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. Resulting benefits of NSF adopting LEED in the expansion project included:
- Energy and water conservation
- Healthier and safer environment for occupants
- Reduction of harmful greenhouse gas emissions
- Lower operating costs and increased asset value
Specifics of NSF's project included:
- Ensuring erosion, sediment control, and water conservation by adding two retention ponds and infiltration wells to the site.
- Planting native grasses and plants as protection from building and parking lot runoff; 59 new trees were planted on the property as a result of the expansion.
- Promoting a reduction of greenhouse gases by installing bike racks and changing rooms, which provided added convenience for those biking to work.
- Installing low-flow toilets and waterless urinals, reducing water usage by 34%.
- Using compact florescent lighting throughout the building. In addition, each room has a timer and motion sensors indicating when lighting is necessary.
- Creating a comprehensive recycling program for recycling Styrofoam, paper, metal, plastic, and glass. For information on how to create a recycling program, please visit the Environmental Protection Agency's website.
- Using 12% post-consumer recycled material in the building, including recycled carpeting.
- Using locally manufactured resources and obtaining almost 85% of all their building materials locally.
- Using Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood during the construction.
- Taking indoor environmental quality into consideration during construction; low-emitting materials, such as adhesives and sealants, paints, and carpet, were used.
- Using green power for 50% of the facility's power. For more information on green power, please visit the EPA's website.
- Eliminating light pollution from the building and site, improving night sky access and reducing development impact on nocturnal environments.
The energy model for the NSF expansion indicates that the design of the building is saving 26% energy costs over a basic building. NSF has obtained LEED Green Building Rating System™ silver certification for the project.
For more information, please visit U. S. Green Building Council's website.