With the opening of the LEED* Platinum Certified Borsage Family Education Center at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Maine Chapter celebrates another significant step forward in terms of greening the built environment in Maine.
In achieving LEED Platinum Certification and with its goal of net zero energy, the Borsage Family Education Center epitomizes green building and reflects the U.S. Green Building Council, Maine Chapter’s vision of a sustainable built environment in Maine. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and its Maine Chapter (USGBC-ME) highly recognize and publicize green building success stories that are transforming the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated. Examples of recognized Maine green building projects can be seen at http://www.maineusgbc.org .
The long-term benefits of green buildings are numerous. Green buildings:
• Increase energy and water efficiency to save finite resources and dollars!
• Use environmentally responsible building materials.
• Protect occupant health through improved indoor environmental quality.
• Aim to reduce storm water quantity and increase storm water quality.
This matters to Maine because:
• Buildings account for 72% of the total US electricity consumption. This number is expected to rise to 75% by 2025! This poses a huge financial burden for Maine.
• Due to our climate, aging building stock and reliance on fuel oil, Mainers have above average energy bills.
• Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors where indoor levels of pollutants may be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels. This is a significant issue in Maine where harsh weather makes getting outdoors difficult, especially for Maine’s aging population.
• Poor storm water run-off quality contributes to ocean acidification taking place in Maine’s coastal waters, endangering water quality and marine life, not to mention the livelihoods of the many Mainers who depend on a healthy Maine coast.
By fostering an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment, USGBC-ME members and all involved citizens of Maine improve the quality of life and set in motion an enduring sustainable legacy.
To become a member of the USGBC-ME or to learn about their many educational programs please visit http://www.maineusgbc.org .
* The LEED green building rating system was created by the USGBC as a tool to define and measure “green buildings.”
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Founded in 2003, USGBC-ME is Maine’s foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. We are a non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation.
The Maine Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization, is committed to creating a sustainable built environment in Maine.