15 August 2012
Posted in Green Building Project
Orlando Science Center Brings Home The Gold!
Orlando Science Center Awarded Prestigious LEED® Green Building Certification
ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 15, 2012) - The Orlando Science Center announced today that it has been awarded LEED® Gold status. The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.
The Science Center is the first nonprofit in Florida to declare LEED® Gold status and the first LEED® Gold building in the city of Orlando under the Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance standard.
“This designation is a testament to the Science Center’s commitment to environmental sustainability,” said JoAnn Newman, Orlando Science Center President and CEO. “Retrofitting our building and attaining LEED Gold status provides a powerful community forum to promote how we can all use science and technology to make our world better.”
This project has transformed the Science Center into a living exhibit that educates visitors about real world applications and benefits of renewable energy and energy conservation. Tours, demonstrations and information are available for guests to discover the positive impact of sustainable technologies and what that means for the Science Center’s operations, the environment, the economy and the consumer.
Through the installation of a state-of-the-art HVAC system and high-efficiency PV/solar panel system, the Science Center has significantly reduced energy emissions and decreased operational costs. Additionally, a total roof replacement was performed and inefficient lighting was swapped out with LEDs and more efficient fluorescent lighting. The Science Center also installed window film to keep out the sun while reducing heat gain.
LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. More than 44,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising nearly 9 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries.
"Building operations are nearly 40 percent of the solution to the global climate change challenge," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. "While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like the Orlando Science Center are addressing it through local solutions."
The process of becoming LEED certified for an existing building is quite complex. With construction of a new building, green materials can be installed from the ground up; with a retrofit, changes to infrastructure can be exhaustive. The Science Center maintained operations during its renovations with minimal impact on the visitor experience.
The initiative would not have been possible without the support of the City of Orlando, Orange County Government, Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs Council, Orlando Utilities Commission, Darden Restaurants Foundation, Irvine Mechanical, Inc., Azur Solar USA and the Walmart Foundation.
“Our goal to serve as a community leader in green practices has been met with this designation,” Newman said. “That goal continues every day as we educate the public about the science of sustainability, its positive impact on the operations of the Science Center, and the environment, in general.”