- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Milestone for Energy Efficient State Buildings
Lowell — September 15, 2016 –The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that over 50 state owned buildings have received a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification recognizing advanced energy and environmental design. Currently 55 state buildings, totaling over 8.4 million square feet across 29 state agencies, authorities, and campuses, are LEED Certified. The LEED standard, established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), awards certifications in Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels for clean energy, energy efficiency and environmental design integration. Over 60% of the state certified buildings are certified at the top two levels of Gold or Platinum.
“This important milestone proves by working collaboratively across state agencies, authorities and campuses, the Commonwealth is committed to leading by example on clean energy innovation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By building energy-efficient buildings, Massachusetts continues to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, which saves precious taxpayer dollars."
“The Baker-Polito Administration is proud that nearly one-third of the LEED buildings have been certified since the beginning of 2015, a testament to our commitment to innovation and Massachusetts’ clean energy future,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I commend our state building agencies for continuing to find and embrace creative approaches to help achieve our shared energy and environmental goals.”
In an effort to reduce energy costs and reduce emissions by state facilities, Massachusetts’ LEED Plus standard requires all state buildings larger than 20,000 sq. ft. to achieve LEED certification as well as meet energy performance that is 20% better than the existing Massachusetts energy code. The Commonwealth’s state owned buildings constitute more than 90% of greenhouse gas emissions in the state portfolio.
“As someone who’s career began in the construction industry, I know the challenges that come with choosing clean energy and energy efficient construction over traditional methods,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Our state building authorities have consistently shown that LEED certified buildings can be built at similar costs to traditional construction while realizing exponential savings in energy costs and emissions reductions over the lifetime of the building.”
“Through our Leading by Example Program, DOER is pleased to oversee efficient state construction standards as well as provide fiscal and technical support for many of these innovative projects that help to drive clean energy and sustainability initiatives forward,” said DOER Commissioner Judith Judson. “Today’s milestone marks the beginning of an important trend toward energy and environmentally conscious construction in the Commonwealth.”
Today’s announcement was made at UMass Lowell’s 227,000-square-foot University Crossing, which serves as a hub of student activity and connects the university’s three campuses. The building was certified LEED Silver in May and is the third UMass Lowell campus building certified this year, resulting in four LEED-certified buildings campus-wide. University Crossing’s advanced sustainable features include innovative use of the building’s glass front and skylights paired with reflective panels to diffuse natural light throughout the building that, combined with systems that automatically adjust artificial light levels, have reduced energy use. Centrally controlled energy systems exceed standard efficiency requirements by 20% and water conservation measures are in place, such as low-flow toilets, automated faucet sensors and the use of rainwater from the roof to irrigate plantings.
“As UMass Lowell has grown in recent years, so has our commitment to sustainability, including making it part of our ‘UMass Lowell 2020’ strategic plan, conducting important research by faculty and students in clean energy and climate change, and opening an Office of Sustainability. Securing LEED certification for our newly constructed buildings is an important achievement for our campus and we are glad to be part of the Commonwealth’s work to lead the way in energy innovation,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney. “We are also proud to say that UMass Lowell’s efforts have earned a gold STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, achieving one of our 2020 goals four years in advance.”
The Commonwealth has seen an acceleration of LEED certification in 2016, with 9 buildings receiving certification this year alone and over two dozen more buildings targeting certification or undergoing the certification process. Newly certified state facilities include a Department of Correction facility, a fitness center at Salem State University, science buildings at UMass Boston and Mass College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, a LEED Platinum rating of Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Library, and an operational certification of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. A complete list of state owned LEED certified buildings can be found here.
“It is essential that our communities, from businesses to public institutions, embrace innovative methods in order to reduce our carbon footprint. This achievement reaffirms the Commonwealth’s commitment to environmental sustainability and our promise to dramatically reduce the damaging effects of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Senator Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell). “I am proud of the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s ongoing efforts to become an environmentally friendly institution of higher learning and I look forward to working with them on their future endeavors.”
“As a Commonwealth, we rolled up our sleeves and created comprehensive environmental standards for the construction of our state buildings. The result is over 50 innovative buildings that achieve the cost savings and emission reductions needed for a truly clean energy economy,” said Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. “I couldn’t be more proud of the collaborative work that has been done on the UMass Lowell campus and give full credit to all of the hard-working individuals at UMass Lowell, DCAMM, and the UMass Building Authority for making it happen.”
Massachusetts’ leadership in green buildings extends beyond just state government facilities. Earlier this year, the Bay State earned recognition from the USGBC as the state with the third most LEED certified buildings per capita in 2015, up two spots from the year prior.
"I am very pleased that Governor Baker and his environmental team have decided to make this important announcement at UMass Lowell's University Crossing. This continues the partnership we have seen between the city and state in their efforts to promote energy efficiency, and the increasing number of LEED certified buildings at the university and across the state are proof that sustainability and conservation are affordable and attainable goals,” said Representative David Nangle (D-Lowell). “I am sure I speak for the rest of the delegation in saying I look forward to working with state energy officials to further increase our number of LEED state certified buildings in Lowell and throughout the Merrimack Valley.”
"State facilities are integral parts of the landscape of our neighborhoods and communities. Making sure they are as efficient as possible, with that efficiency achieved by collaboration across all stake holders, shows our cities and towns we care about the role State Government plays in keeping our environment clean,” said Representative Rady Mom (D-Lowell). “When we ask our private industry to step up and follow higher and higher standards, it’s important that Commonwealth leads on those standards as well."
We salute the leadership and hard work that the Commonwealth has mustered to produce this stunning portfolio of awesome LEED certified buildings. These inspirational places are great for workers, visitors, and the communities they serve,” said Grey Lee, Massachusetts Executive Director of the U.S. Green Building Council. “Congratulations to everyone in state government who has had a hand in this achievement, Leading by Example is a shining pathway for other large building owners to follow and benefit from.”
This LEED milestone was achieved through the work of many of the Commonwealth’s agencies that oversee construction, including the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), the Massachusetts State College Building Authority (MSCBA), UMass Building Authority (UMBA), Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), MassDOT, and MassPort.