Fraunhofer CSE has received LEED Gold certification for its Boston office building – a 100-year-old former warehouse, which was retrofitted by Fraunhofer and its partners from 2010 to 2013. The $27m retrofit turned the historic building in the Fort Point Channel district into a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient office and laboratory space. 5 Channel Center Street features innovative insulation materials, triple-pane windows, radiant heating and cooling, displacement ventilation, and a passive chilled beams and sails HVAC system, all of which were contributed by industry partners participating in the retrofit project. For a list of partners who contributed to this retrofit, go to http://www.cse.fraunhofer.org/5cc/building-technology-showcase-industry-partners. The building has since become a showcase of innovative building energy technologies, attracting hundreds of visitors each year.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. LEED certifications are issued by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for buildings that save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. There are four levels of certification – Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – and the number of points a project earns determines the level of LEED certification that the project will receive.