With the current state of environmental conscienceness and increasing energy costs, more people and businesses are thinking about the benefits of "Going Green." Environmental movements have been around for a long time focusing on saving the natural world, but today our society is looking for ways to integrate sustainable values into every part of life. It has become clear that being "green" has economic benefits, in addition to helping sustain our environment. Sustainability in global terms is about meeting the needs of the present without depleting resources or harming natural cycles for future generations. As architects, we can help building owners and developers shape a sustainable built environment that will benefit both the world and their business. CGLS Architects has been incorporating energy and environmentally conscious design into our projects ever since we built our first buildings in the early nineties, but until the development and acceptance of the LEED Green Building Rating System there was no tangible way to document the "greenness" of a building. Today with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, architects have a system in place to encourage and accelerate global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED is a third party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.[1] CGLS has three LEED Accredited Professionals on staff and hopes to soon start our first LEED certified project. Even though a project may not be LEED certified, CGLS incorporates many principals of sustainable design into our building process. CGLS strives to create in all of its buildings a socially responsible, energy efficient, healthy, and enjoyable environment for its occupants.


[1] USGBC, US Green Building Council