by Jaclyn Rhoads, Director for Conservation Policy
PPA is helping to lead the charge on green buildings by going for LEED certification! The US Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing green buildings in the market, pioneered a standardized system for certifying green buildings. This certification is called LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
From www.USGBC.org , “The LEED® green building program is a voluntary, consensus-based global rating system for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. LEED addresses all building types emphasizing state-of-the- art strategies in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources selection, locations & linkages, awareness & education, indoor environmental quality, innovation & education and regional priorities.” The LEED programs are designed for new buildings, existing buildings and operations, interior design, core and shell, schools, retail, healthcare, and neighborhood development.
PPA has registered for the LEED existing buildings and operations certification. With a grant from Gardinier Foundation, we have completed an energy audit of our facilities and a LEED assessment conducted by DeFeo Associates to determine what work we need to do to meet the certification requirements.
In the next coming months, the Bishop Farmstead offices will be upgraded with a new high efficiency boiler, central air-conditioning units, hot water heater, energy star appliances, and LED lights. Our goal is to implement all of the recommendations from our energy audit, reduce our water use, create operation policies that reduce our natural resource use, create a purchasing policy to promote local and organic products, and to install at some point a renewable energy source on-site.
All of this work is geared toward educating the public about how important our resource use is to saving the Pinelands. Our water use, energy use, and resource use has a direct impact on the Pinelands region, which PPA and our members work so hard to protect.
PPA will continue to provide updates on our blog and website and have special tours of our facility for the public to learn more about these projects and how to implement them in your home. In the meantime, please check out our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint since moving to the Bishop Farmstead.