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Rochester Named First LEED Gold City in Minnesota and Recognized for Achieving Sustainability and Resiliency Goals
The City of Rochester is pleased to announce that it has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. Rochester is the first Minnesota city to be certified. The system was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is the world’s most widely used green building rating system.
Over the past year the City of Rochester has worked to collect a range of information in energy, waste, water, transportation, and human experience on a city scale in an effort to measure improvement over time and improve upon the City’s environmental and sustainability outcomes. The certification has highlighted areas that the City is performing quite well like energy consumption and human experience, as well as areas for improvement such as transportation – particularly mode shift – and water consumption.
Kevin Bright, Director of Sustainability for Destination Medical Center (DMC) and the City of Rochester, shares, “Rochester, Minnesota is undergoing significant change and LEED for Cities is providing a platform to help us better understand our City from an environmental, social and equity perspective. This platform is helpful not only for us to track our own change, but also benchmark against others and strive for continuous improvement.”
Multiple new buildings are pursuing third party green building certification in Rochester. This trend will continue due to the DMC’s Sustainable Building Guidance included in its application process. In social equity and human experience, a number of organizations are focused to provide affordable living opportunities for all and improving the transportation system to improve access to services across the City.
“The work of cities and communities such as Rochester, Minnesota is a driving force in ensuring a more sustainable future for all,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Cities and communities that achieve LEED certification are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment and striving to improve the quality of life for its residents. Rochester, Minnesota is setting a standard for what it means to be a high performer and we applaud their efforts and achievements.”
Rochester achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at improving sustainability and quality of life. LEED is designed to help buildings, communities and cities achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. LEED for Cities enables cities to measure and track outcomes and are evaluated based on 14 key metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability. Performance is tracked through Arc, a digital platform that connects actions and tracks progress using a performance score.