WASHINGTON — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in Washington announced that Bioconstruccion y Energia Alternativea (BEA) is the most recent winner of the USGBC’s LEED Earth campaign.
In 2011, BEA was behind one of the most sustainable offices in Latin America. BEA’s 4,650-square-foot office building was recognized as the first new construction building to achieve LEED Platinum certification in the country and the entire Latin American region, placing the structure in the top 1 percent of all buildings to achieve this level. The project’s design and construction integrates diverse sustainability strategies and higher performance specifications, well above local regulations.
BEA also reached another LEED Platinum level certification. It became the fifth building in the world to achieve LEED O+M Platinum certification under the new LEED v4 rating system. LEED APs Mayela Salazar and Diana Carro (existing building and new construction project leaders respectively) said earning these two milestone certifications equals a lifetime of professional satisfaction.
“Everyone utilizing or visiting our office perceives and enjoys a superior indoor ambiance,” said Mayela Salazar, a construction project leader for the BEA building, in a statement.
“We do acknowledge how the premises invite us to both higher productivity and more responsible user habits,” added Diana Carro, also a construction project leader, in a statement.
Mexico has been leading a green building movement in Latin America. In Mexico, LEED certifications are becoming increasingly commonplace, according to the USGBC. To date, the country accounts for 139 certified and 460 registered LEED projects. There are more than 13.2 million gross square meters of LEED-certified space, and LEED can be found in 606 buildings.
The USGBC began its LEED Earth campaign in June 2013. Certification must be earned during the promotional period, which extends to June 2016. The LEED Earth program offers free LEED certification for two types of projects: the first projects to certify in countries where LEED has yet to take root (there are more than 100 countries); and the first LEED Platinum project in any country to certify using the newest version of LEED — LEED v4. The new version aims to help with the global adoption of green building by implementing tools and criteria that are more universally understood.
The LEED Earth campaign rules state that only countries on the list of UN member states without LEED-certified projects are eligible to participate, excluding countries subject to U.S. trade sanctions. The USGBC will refund standard certification review fees — up to $30,000 — paid to the Green Building Certification Inc. (GBCI), a third-party verification resource that works with the USGBC.