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LEEDing by Example (Washington State)

Several years ago in SeaTac, Washington, Lutheran Community Services Northwest decided to build a new central office building. Early in the planning, planners worked with architects to design a building that would meet LEED specifications. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, through the U.S. Green Building Council, emphasizes site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality, resulting in a facility that is considerate of the environment.
 
The result was the Angle Lake Community Services Building. The stunning facility features a number of green components, including a lightweight elevator, an open floor design allowing for good HVAC flow, water efficiencies (sensor faucets, duoflush and low-flow toilets), durable carpet crafted in squares so one can easily replace a small section of carpet at a time, sensor and programmed lighting, and energy efficient air-conditioning and heating systems.
 
To construct the 32,000-square-foot, $7.6 million-building, which opened in January 2007, builders used recycled and local materials. Furniture from the previous offices was reused and refitted to the new building. Where the need for additional furnishings arose, Lutheran Community Services Northwest obtained free furnishings from a warehouse that donates furniture to nonprofit organizations. Beyond the building itself, the property features water-efficient landscaping, which uses biosoil to help manage storm water and run-off issues from a nearby lake.
 
So why build such a green building? “This decision was based largely on stewardship and the desire to use God’s resources well,” said Kate Gerken, Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. “We had an opportunity with a brand new building to start from scratch and do it in a way that makes the most sense. Water is not unlimited. Power is not unlimited. They all have a cost not just to our agency and what we’re spending to operate, but they have a cost to everybody: to the people we serve, to our local community, to our state, and of course to our nation.”
 
In 2008, the building received its Silver LEED certification. To top off their good efforts, Lutheran Community Services Northwest received recognition from King County as “Best Workplace for Recycling and Waste Reduction” in summer 2011.

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Lutheran Community Services Northwest is a social ministry organizaton of the ELCA.

Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC) is a grassroots movement within the ELCA seeking to foster care for God's good creation in all expressions of the church's life and mission. LRC is supported by grants from ELCA World Hunger and InFaith Community Foundation.