In today’s world, sustainability is a pressing concern. At Oliver, we’re committed to environmental responsibility, so we’re thrilled to share that we’ve helped Trek achieve their first Gold LEED Certified building with the Trek Lodge. While a feat on its own, it’s especially impressive considering the challenges faced when developing sustainability in a rural area.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a globally recognized rating system that promotes sustainable construction practices. In this blog post, we’ll delve into how LEED works, the numerous benefits it brings to the table, and the unique challenges encountered when striving for a Gold LEED Certification in a rural area like Trek’s Lodge.
Saving Money and Improving Efficiency:
Reduce energy consumption and maximize performance by incorporating innovative technologies and strategies, such as efficient lighting, optimized HVAC systems, and smart energy management.
Lowering Carbon Emissions:
Lower carbon emissions by incorporating sustainable materials, implementing renewable energy solutions, and emphasizing efficient waste management practices.
Creating Healthier Spaces:
Provide occupants with clean air, ample natural light, and comfortable spaces. Improved ventilation, low-emitting materials, and enhanced acoustics.
Enhancing Resilience and Equitable Communities:
Reduce carbon footprint by implementing sustainable transportation options, such as bike racks or electric vehicle charging stations.
Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals:
LEED aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through various LEED categories, such as energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction.
The rural setting of Trek’s Lodge introduced a range of additional obstacles. Unlike urban areas, where infrastructure and resources are often readily available, rural locations demand a more thoughtful approach to meet the rigorous standards set by LEED. To achieve a Gold LEED certification, the infrastructure must obtain 60-79 points. Right off the bat, building in a rural area sets you back, as there are certain aspects that cannot be easily fulfilled, such as access to public transportation. From sourcing environmentally friendly materials to implementing energy-efficient systems, every decision was crucial in our pursuit of the Gold Certification.
The Certification Process:
To achieve LEED certification, our project underwent a rigorous verification and review process by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). By adhering to prerequisites and earning credits across categories like carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health, and indoor environmental quality, our building accumulated points that correspond to the Gold LEED certification level.
The End Result:
“As you approach the Lodge, the rustic cedar façade gradually rises from its natural stone base. The stone then continues upward, punctuating the roof to define the main entry. The building’s low roof pitch, echoing the slopes of the hills that surround the site, continues further upward over large laminated wood beams, reaching out to shelter a large portion of the south-facing patio below. This sudden drop in architectural form almost invites a mountain biker to ride over the top!” – Erwin “Bud” Bessler – Architect / Senior Designer
Building a Gold LEED-certified structure has been an incredible journey. Trek’s Gold LEED Certified project reflects our dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainable development. By demonstrating that sustainability is feasible and impactful, even in rural areas, we hope to inspire others to follow suit and contribute to a more sustainable future.