Green building projects are red hot.
Here's a look at some of the recent area additions to the elite club of buildings certified by LEED, a certification program of the U.S. Green Building Council that stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
3rd Federal Bank
Today, 3rd Federal Bank is celebrating its LEED gold certification for its new Woodhaven branch. The building has water and energy efficiency devices. It incorporates recycled materials and materials with low emissions that otherwise would contribute to indoor air pollution. The branch also is launching a community-wide green education program.
And this is cool: the branch commissioned local artist Scott Bickmore to create a work of art that's all-green and uses only recycled materials. Bickmore is founder of the "Monochromes Project," where the gist is to create items of one color, but using many artists. Student artwork from the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush will be unveiled today, and works will be rotated within the branch for the rest of the school year.
Wister Center at Swarthmore
Swarthmore College's new greenhouse and Wister Education Center also rated a gold certification. The center, at the Scott Arboretum, replaces an outdated greenhouse from the 1970s and is intended to be used for plant propagation, plant display and public education.
What's this building like? Think rainwater harvesting, a green roof (as in covered with soil and planted), sunlight harvesting through light tubes and a heating/air-conditioning system that uses a chilled water loop on campus as a heat exchanger. About 85 percent of the construction waste was recycled.
A nice touch here: Most of the building's wood shingle cladding was made from a stand of dawn redwood trees that were cut down at another construction site on the campus.