Loudoun County has received national and state recognition for energy-efficient practices that not only conserve natural resources but also benefit the county government’s bottom line. The county recently achieved a LEED-certified Gold rating for a county capital project and received the top award in the Green Government Challenge sponsored by the Virginia Municipal League.
The LEED Gold rating for the new Loudoun County Youth Shelter is the county’s second Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. The county received its first LEED-certified Gold rating last year for the Loudoun County Homeless Services Center. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system.
The Loudoun County Youth Shelter features many innovative energy-efficient design techniques and technologies which will significantly lower the county’s ongoing operational costs, including the cost of heating and cooling. The new facility has achieved a 48% reduction in energy use and a 42% reduction in water use compared to a similar type of building of typical construction.
Energy savings are accomplished through a geothermal HVAC system, passive solar architecture and daylighting, automatic lighting controls, gas-fired, on-demand hot water, photovoltaic panels and Energy Star appliances. Water reduction is achieved by automated fixtures, low-flow shower heads and faucets, waterless urinals and water efficient appliances. The shelter’s photovoltaic panel system provides approximately 12 percent of the facility's electrical needs.
The Virginia Municipal League has recognized Loudoun County with a platinum award, the highest level of achievement, in the league’s Green Government Challenge. The award recognizes the Loudoun County government, in partnership with the Loudoun County Public Schools, for a wide range of efforts that reduce energy consumption, improve energy efficiency and raise awareness about energy conservation.
The Green Government Challenge is a friendly competition that encourages energy conservation projects and practical actions to reduce carbon emissions and save local governments money. Governments earn “green points” by implementing or adopting policies and actions in various categories ranging from energy efficiency and green buildings to land use and innovation.
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