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BLOG U! Being Native and Green
Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Montana, is a public, tribally-controlled community college located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation — It has a new claim to fame as the home of the first Native American building in the nation (and the first educational building in the state) to take LEED Platinum certification.
LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. An internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of native resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Recently Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic created the “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space“–i.e., Spaceport America, which also received LEED Gold certification. It was built using local materials and regional construction techniques. The facility is sustainable with few additional energy requirements due to the use of a range of sustainable features including geothermal heating and cooling.
LEED certification is not limited to only colleges and space stations, The Visionaire’s on 70 Little West Street in Battery Park City is the first Manhattan condominium to earn LEED Platinum honors. Its combination of ultra-modern green design and classic Manhattan luxuries is proof positive that it’s possible for a luxury condo to offer both LEED Platinum sustainability and a quality of living that measures up to the gold standard for luxury condos in Manhattan.
The beauty of LEED certified buildings is that they use resources more efficiently when compared to conventional buildings. It therefore often provides a healthier work and living environments—great way of living native and green.