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Platinum is the highest rating in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification program. Building projects that have attained this rating are among the greenest in the world.*
I recently added newly certified Platinum-rated projects to my online listing of LEED Platinum Certified Building Projects Worldwide. The listing includes projects of all types, from every LEED rating system: Homes, Schools, New Construction (and Major Renovations), Existing Buildings/Operations & Maintenance, Neighborhood Developments, Commercial Interiors, Core & Shell, and Retail.
As of my latest review of the data (at the beginning of January 2012), it appears that there are now more than 1,045 LEED Platinum rated projects worldwide. While the vast majority of LEED projects (almost 950 of them) are located in the United States (where LEED was created), Platinum rated projects now exist in 25 countries. After the U.S., India is the country with the most Platinum projects, with about 35 projects so far (up from 20 a year ago). Canada and China also have many Platinum projects.
Within the United States, 49 of the 50 U.S. states (all states except North Dakota)—plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico—now have building projects that have achieved the LEED Platinum rating. In terms of the absolute number of LEED Platinum certified projects in each state, California has the most (with at least 164 projects, at last count), followed by Oregon (with 64 projects), and then New York (61), Texas (51) and Massachusetts (40). However, on a per capita basis (i.e., as a percentage of population size), Washington D.C. has more LEED Platinum rated projects than any of the states. And among the 50 states, Oregon has the greatest number of LEED Platinum projects per capita, followed by Montana, Hawaii, Vermont, and New Mexico.
Homes that have achieved the LEED Platinum rating range from luxury residences to modest houses to rental apartments in multi-family affordable housing developments, and everything in between. They also span a broad range of design styles, from traditional to modern.
Here are case studies of a small but diverse sample of LEED Platinum-rated residences:
- 81 Brent (a three-unit, three-story home), Dorchester, MA
- Gottfried residence (renovation of a Craftsman bungalow—FOR SALE as of Jan. 2012), Oakland, CA
- Juneberry Lane affordable homes, Oregon City, OR
- OS House, Racine, WI
- Prairie Point Townhomes (eight affordable apartment units), Greensburg, KS
- Ross Street house, Madison, WI
- Tassafaronga Village affordable housing community (which includes townhomes built by Habitat for Humanity), Oakland, CA
- Villa Trieste subdivision of single-family homes, Las Vegas, NV
- Vista Dunes affordable housing development, La Quinta, CA
- Warren Wilson College Eco-Dorm, Swannanoa, NC
- Z6 House, Santa Monica, CA
Another green building certification, which is widely considered to be an even
higher bar to reach than LEED Platinum, is the Living Building Challenge.
To date, four projects have achieved the Living Building Challenge
certification, including one home: the Eco-Sense home in
Victoria, British Columbia.
Miriam Landman is an accomplished writer, editor, and sustainability advisor with expertise in green living, green building, and sustainable communities. For daily links to sustainable solutions and success stories, connect to her Facebook page for The Green Spotlight. To receive quarterly email updates from The Green Spotlight, please sign up here.