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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Silver is Green for King County

Summary

King County’s Black River Building in Renton has been awarded LEED® Silver certification as established by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.

Story

King County's Black River Building in Renton has been awarded LEED® Silver certification as established by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

"Obtaining LEED Silver certification for the Black River Building is a win for both the environment and residents," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "It demonstrates our continued commitment to sustainable building, and creates financial savings by reducing energy use."

John Starbard, Director of the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services, which is housed at the Black River Building, said, "By using less energy and water, not only will the Black River Building save money, but it will also reduce the County's environmental footprint and contribute to building a healthier community."

The 74,000 square-foot building is home to three King County operations: the Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES), the residential division of the Department of Assessments, and the Community Environmental Health section of Public Health - Seattle & King County. The Black River Building, which was finished in 1990, was purchased by King County in 1998.

"Since this was an already-existing building, the LEED certification process was a little different than that for a new structure," said Kathy Brown, director of facilities management for King County. "We had to make improvements to our maintenance procedures, using the LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance rating system as a guide, to quantify the sustainability improvements we made."

The LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance rating system focuses on policies and methods rather than brick-and-mortar improvements to reduce a site's ecological footprint. Improvements and achievements at the Black River Building include:

  • Energy Star certification for 2009 and 2010
  • Water efficient plumbing fixture and irrigation upgrades to reduce water use
  • Green Operations and Maintenance guidelines, including sustainable purchasing, solid waste management, green cleaning and indoor air quality management
  • Utility tracking to measure energy performance
  • Ventilation testing for indoor air quality
  • Professional energy audit for assessment and recommendations
  • 100% Green Power purchased through Puget Sound Energy
  • Custodial cleaning assessment for indoor environmental quality
  • Purchasing and waste tracking and audits
  • Occupancy sensor switches installed in offices and conference rooms to reduce energy use.

"With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC's vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, King County's Black River Building is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement."

King County used three local consulting firms, TSE Architecture Engineering Planning in Woodinville, the Blackbird Division of Rushing in Seattle, and Peregreen, to assist in the LEED Silver certification process for the Black River Building. The project was partially funded by the U.S Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant.

"Environmental sustainability is a global issue," Constantine added, "We are proud to have worked with these community partners to address the bigger challenge through local solutions."



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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