To LEED or not to LEED?

02/2012-First United Methoodist Church Orlando, Fl.

The following article is published in the recent issue of Church Executive Magazine (June/July). It features insights from Timothy Black, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD + C, who designed LEED certified First United Methodist in Orlando, Florida. Timothy is an architect for CDH Partners, Inc.

“When pastors hear the term “green construction,” they might equate it with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. It’s a point-based system that’s becoming the national standard for sustainable design and quality control. LEED certification is available in three levels: silver, gold and platinum.

While other green building certifications exist, LEED — issued by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) — is the leader. According to Kimberly Lewis, senior vice president of alliances, conferences events for USGBC, 53 U.S. churches are LEED-certified; another 200 are registered.

Lewis says pastors at LEED-certified churches aren’t focusing on environmental stewardship alone. “They’re also keeping in mind congregational health and, perhaps most important, cross-generational engagement,” she explains. “LEED certification demonstrates a commitment to truly living out the principles of green — something younger generations strongly identify with. Click here to continue reading.