Map: Madison area has 108 LEED-certified buildings
Defining what 'LEED' means and where you can find certified structures in the area
The idea for a green building rating system was developed in 1993. After the United States Green Building Council, or USGBC, came to be, it produced a program in 1998 – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED – that has defined and developed sustainable buildings for more than 20 years.
LEED sets the benchmark for buildings that are environmentally responsible, functional and healthy places to work. When a LEED-certified project is finished, it yields savings in energy, water, maintenance, waste and other economic and environmental benefits. Energy-efficient buildings produced by LEED reduce pollutants shed into the air, making the program a huge combatant against smog in industrialized areas. The spaces created further promote cleaner air within a building, while emphasizing an access to natural light and a work environment without questionable chemicals found in paint and finishings.
When a building is constructed or remodeled following LEED protocol, it means a few things. First, LEED principles apply to virtually all types of buildings and projects: new construction, interior fit-outs, existing buildings under operations and maintenance, neighborhood development, homes and even entire cities and communities. Second, there are different levels of LEED certification, which are based on points earned by utilizing green building strategies. A project can earn one of four ratings: Certified, Silver, Gold or the highest rating of Platinum.
As of right now, the greater Madison area is home to 108 of these green projects. Some of the projects are confidential, so 92 are shown on the map below.
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, Madison Children’s Museum and a handful of prominent University of Wisconsin–Madison buildings are some of the better-known LEED certifications in the city. But one of the more recent projects includes Madison Firestation 14 on Dairy Drive, which received a LEED Platinum rating in 2019 for its design and construction. The state-of-the-art facility is predicted to perform 72% better than a code-compliant building, which saves the city of Madison money as well as energy.
In 2008, the Madison Common Council passed a resolution that requires LEED Silver certification for all new and remodeled buildings in the city, so the current number is expected to grow.