Bernheim award was well deserved

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By Staff

When Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest decided to go “green” with the construction of its new visitor’s center, it was no major surprise.

The center was finished in 2004 and Bernheim officials boasted of its achievement and its ability to stay within its bounds of creating a “building like a tree.” They were right to boast of the achievements because that’s just what they and the architecture and community design firm of William McDonough and Partners did.

The 12-foot grid design was inspired by the architecture of Bernheim’s garden, and incorporated trellises, arbors, pergolas, a living roof and structures that work in tandem with growing plants. Visitor’s to Bernheim’s “green” center can instantly appreciate the thought and concern that went into its construction.

But in addition to the local appreciation, Bernheim was recently recognized nationally for its “green” awareness when it built the center. It received a Platinum award from the U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Certification — the first to be awarded in a multi-state region that includes Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.

The LEED Rating System is a voluntary third-party rating system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. Projects are evaluated within six environmental categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of green building certification. Platinum is the highest.

We congratulate Bernheim on its recent award and hope it inspires others to follow suit. All of us can benefit from a little green in our lives.