Greenest building on record receives national environmental award

Aldo Leopold Legacy Center receives highest sustainability award.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer staff October 23, 2007

The greenest building in the United States now stands in Wisconsin, stands on land reclaimed by one of the nation’s groundbreaking environmentalists. The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center received the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification and one of the highest rankings yet awarded from the organization. The award was presented on Oct. 18 at the center in Baraboo, Wis.

Built to the highest standards of energy efficiency and sustainability, the center employs some of the most innovative materials and systems ever integrated in commercial construction in the United States. The project received 61 of 61 points submitted (out of a possible 69), which is the highest point total yet recorded by the LEED rating system. In only the first few months of operation, the building has saved so much in energy costs; the Aldo Leopold Foundation has earned $650 by selling energy back to the local utility.

The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center is the first “net zero energy” building in Wisconsin and the first carbon neutral building certified by LEED. To achieve “net zero energy” performance, annual building energy demand is matched by the output of clean, renewable energy systems on site. The Center will produce approximately 115% of annual building energy needs.

The 12,000-square-foot Legacy Center was completed in spring of 2007 and serves as a visitor center and headquarters for the Aldo Leopold Foundation. It was designed by The Kubala Washatko Architects Inc.; construction management and LEED consultation were provided by The Boldt Co.

For a complete construction diary , click on “visit,” then click on “Legacy Center.”