LEED ’09 to include credits for regional environmental priorities
Washington, D.C. The U.S. Green Building Council has released the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design regional credits as part of LEED 2009, the new version of the LEED Green Building Rating System. The regional LEED credits encourage that specific regional environmental priorities be addressed when it comes to the design, construction and operations of buildings in different geographic locations.
“Because environmental priorities differ among various regions of the country — the challenges in the Southeast differ from those in the Northwest, for example — regionally specific credits give LEED a way to directly respond to diverse, regionally grounded issues,” said Brendan Owens, VP technical development, USGBC. “The inclusion of these regional LEED credits is the Council’s first step toward addressing regional environmental issues.”
With the help of USGBC’s regional councils, chapters and affiliates, credits addressing six specific environmental issues within a region were identified from among the existing LEED credits.
Walgreens turns out the lights for ‘Earth Hour’
Deerfield, Ill. Walgreens plans to participate in “Earth Hour” by turning off its signs in Chicago and New York City for one hour starting locally at 8:30 p.m. on March 28.
Nearly 150 Walgreens stores throughout Chicago and neighboring communities will turn off all exterior signs, the company said. Lights in the parking lot, entrance and pharmacy drive-thru will remain on for security and safety reasons. Window signs in stores will inform customers of Walgreens participation and encourage community involvement.
In New York City, the Walgreens billboard in Times Square will also go dark.
Yum! Brands opens eco-friendly store
Louisville, Ky. Yum! Brands, parent of the Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Long John Silver’s and A&W brands, said Friday it has opened a green store in Northampton, Mass., for which it will seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The restaurant, located in Northampton, Mass., is a dual-branded KFC/Taco Bell store, and is designed to use 30% less energy and water than a conventionally built structure. In other green features, the unit utilizes solar energy, LED lighting, energy-efficient kitchen equipment, a low-flow water system and harvests rainwater to be used for irrigation purposes.
In addition, the store’s interior has been designed with recycled building materials. The restaurant also composts and recycles waste and converts its frying oil into biofuel.