The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard has grown into “the world’s most widely used green building rating system.” It is effectively the leading standard used for evaluating a building’s energy efficiency and the ability to reduce carbon emissions.
LEED’s popularity in the United States is well-established, but what about the rest of the world?
Based on the list of the 20 most famous LEED-certified buildings below, you will find that LEED is making its way in places you might not have expected.
List of 20 Famous LEED Certified Buildings
1. Soldier Field, Chicago IL
(Source: Flickr User Ken Lund via Wikipedia Commons)
The home of the Chicago Bears, is the first LEED-EB certified NFL stadium. Soldier Field achieved the standard following a major renovation in 2003.
The scale of the stadium’s recycling program is said to “rival” those of small cities. Be it standard-fare garbage such as bottle and paper to even light bulbs and batteries, Soldier Field has specific protocols in place to recycle almost everything, including the dirt.
2. Salt Lake City Library, Salt Lake City, UT.
(Source: Salt Lake City Lirbary)
The Salt Lake City Library received its LEED Silver certification in 2018. It achieves high indoor environmental quality and energy and atmosphere scores with its UFAD-based system.
3. One Bryant Park, New York City, NY
(Source: Jean-Christophe BENOIST via Wikipedia Commons)
Bryant Park became the first high-rise building in the world to attain a LEED Platinum rating. Be it the building’s ability to capture and reuse rainwater, recycle greywater, or have its own 4.6-megawatt cogeneration plant, it’s nothing short of a marvel. Its HVAC system uses underfloor air distribution (UFAD) technology, allowing it to reduce environmental impact and long-term cost.
4. Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China
(Source: Baycrest – Wikipedia User – CC-BY-SA-2.5 via Wikipedia Commons)
The Shanghai Tower is China’s tallest building — and the second tallest building in the world — attained LEED Platinum CS in 2015.
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5. Manitoba Hydro Place, Winnipeg, Canada
(Source: Manitoba Hydro)
The 22-storey building achieved LEED Platinum in 2012. One of its notable features is that compared to the average office building, the Manitoba Hydro Place uses 70% less energy, saving $500,000 every year. Its HVAC system takes full advantage of raised access flooring.
6. Kingkey 100 Tower, Shenzhen, China
(Source: JHH755 via Wikipedia Commons)
The tallest building in Shenzhen, the Kingkey 100 Tower is also the 14th tallest in the world. The Kingkey 100 Tower attained LEED Gold CS certification in 2013.
It houses both offices and a hotel, but also accommodates places for regular occupants to eat, live and play, thereby reducing the need to travel in the area. Compared to other buildings, it reduced indoor water use by 40% and wastewater generation by 50%.
8. Two International Finance Center, Hong Kong, China
(Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons)
One of Hong Kong’s iconic buildings, Two International Finance Center achieved LEED Gold certification following a retrofit, the key piece of which was to increase the use of natural light and reduce solar heat gain.
9. Facebook HQ, Menlo Park, CA
(Source: Austin McKinley via Wikipedia Commons)
Facebook’s headquarters attained a LEED Platinum rating for good reason. All of its energy needs are met through is 3.6-megawatt onsite, rooftop solar panels. It also has an on-site blackwater treatment plant to support its landscaping needs and toilets.
10. Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT
(Source: JimDonnellyPhoto via Wikipedia Commons)
Also known as Kroon Hall, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies earned a LEED Platinum certification in 2010. It uses an UFAD-based HVAC system to provide energy efficient thermal comfort while reducing environmental impact.
11. Willis Tower, Chicago, IL
(Source: Daniel Schwen via Wikipedia Commons)
In November 2018, Willis Tower achieved a LEED Gold rating. Like many LEED projects around the world, its sustainability measures came through a retrofit project. In this case, its owners installed high-efficiency lighting systems and retrofitted the HVAC system.
13. TaiKoo Hui Guangzhou Towers, Guangzhou, China
(Source: Swire Properties)
Both TaiKoo Hui Guangzhou Towers received LEED Gold certification in 2012.
To reach their efficiency goals, the TaiKoo Hui Guangzhou Towers’ designers installed a range of resource conservation systems, such as an on-site greywater recycling system and CO2 sensors to optimize the HVAC system.
14. Andeavor Corporate Headquarters, San Antonio, TX
(Source: Wikipedia Commons)
Formerly known as the Tesoro Corporate Headquarters, the Andeavor Corporate HQ is a LEED Silver certified building. It’s strength lies in its indoor environmental quality and energy efficiency, which comes thanks to a state-of-the-art UFAD HVAC system.
Improving Your HVAC is Critical to Attaining LEED and Lowering Your Building Operating Costs
15. The Crystal, London, UK
(Source: The Crystal)
The Crystal, London’s iconic exhibition centre, achieved LEED Platinum certification in 2014. Located on the Royal Victoria Docks in East London, the 6,300 m2 building uses only renewable energy to power its operations.
16. 1800 Larimer Street – Xcel Energy Headquarters, Denver, CO
(Source: Xcel Energy)
Xcel’s Energy HQ in Denver, CO is a LEED Platinum certified building. Thanks to its energy efficiency measures — which include an UFAD-based HVAC system — the building generates energy cost savings of $212,000 every year.
18. San Francisco International Airport Terminal 2, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 was the first airport terminal in the US to attain a LEED Gold certification. Like many projects, the certification was a result of a years-long retrofit and renovation program of an existing facility.
19. Vancouver Convention Center (VCC) – Vancouver, Canada
The VCC received LEED Platinium certification in 2010 and again (in a different area) in 2017. The notable aspect of the VCC — and its owners — is that besides adhering to the best energy efficiency standards available, they rigorously worked to align with the latest standards as those became available (e.g., LEED v4 Platinum).
20. TAIPEI 101, Taipei, Taiwan
(Source: TAIPEI 101)
TAIPEI 101 became the world’s tallest LEED-certified building in 2011 through its LEED Platinium In addition to sustainability measures geared to slashing energy consumption by 33.41 million kWh and save 28 million liters of potable water each year, the TAIPEI 101 was built to withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes as well.
Based on this list of famous LEED-certified buildings, you will find that the size and purpose of these buildings vary across the board. From flagship corporate skyscrapers to historic sites to student housing, any kind of building can be made into an energy efficient system by making improvements to HVAC, water management and consumption, and electricity consumption.
LEED Certificated UFAD-based HVAC Solutions from AirFixture
AirFixture works to meet the LEED certification needs of its clients by providing energy efficient underfloor air distribution (UFAD)-based HVAC systems. Contact us to learn more about how we equip buildings to lower their energy usage and operational costs.