RWDI Announces LEED Gold Certification, Continuing Our Commitment to Sustainable Business Practices
RWDI is pleased to announce we have achieved LEED® Gold certification for our 130,384 sq. ft. headquarters in Guelph, Canada. Using the expertise of our internal sustainability consulting experts, we made the infrastructure improvements necessary to achieve certification.
What is LEED?
The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and licensed in Canada to the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes, and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.
LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. As a global leader in climate and performance engineering, we have worked with many clients to help them achieve this certification.
How LEED Certified Buildings Will Create a Resilient Future
Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore have a significant impact on our personal health and well-being.
LEED certification ensures electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions, and healthier environments for our buildings and communities. In the United States alone, buildings account for almost 40% of national CO2 emissions, but LEED-certified buildings have 34% lower CO2 emissions, consume 25% less energy and 11% less water, and have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills.
“At RWDI, we have long been committed to helping our clients tackle complex sustainability challenges,” said Michael Soligo, President and CEO of RWDI. “As a global leader in climate engineering consulting and technical services, we have a deep understanding and broad technical capabilities in sustainability and sustainable buildings. We wanted to leverage the expertise that we use to support our clients to reduce our own environmental impact.”
How We Achieved LEED Certification for our HQ
We achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. Our energy consumption and water consumption in the Guelph office have been reduced through programs such as metering to isolate power, waste reduction policies, and water efficiency upgrades.
1. Measuring and Reducing Energy Consumption
To achieve our sustainability goals, we built measuring systems – including metering – to isolate power consumption associated with our wind tunnel usage, beginning with the Guelph tunnels. This was a key step towards accurately tracking resource utilization to increase operational efficiency.
2. Waste Reduction
Our waste reduction strategy included a Go Digital initiative aimed at not only reducing the output of printed pages, but also the removal of 80% of single-use plastics from our operations – a campaign that ranged from paper coffee cups and presentation covers/binders to catering supplies.
3. Reducing Our Water Usage
The water reduction program included upgrading plumbing fixtures/fittings to meet the LEED criteria for high efficiency water use.
LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building strategies for all types of commercial buildings, from hospitals and schools to offices and even entire neighborhoods.
“As a leader in sustainable design, it makes sense that RWDI would choose LEED to ensure their Guelph headquarters meet the highest global green building standards,” said Thomas Mueller, President and CEO, CAGBC. “Now more than ever it is critical that buildings are designed holistically to deliver on all aspects of sustainability, from environmental performance to human experience. By tracking building metrics continuously, RWDI will ensure their team will continue to thrive in their headquarters and will improve building performance over time.”
Our engineering and sustainability specialists offer complete support for building project managers, developers, and owner/operators to achieve LEED certification as well.