Orange County Certified as “LEED Gold Community”
Orange County has become the first county in east Central Florida to earn the internationally-accredited Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Cities and Communities Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. On April 6, 2022, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings joined county staff to receive the award at the Orange County Regional History Center in downtown Orlando.
Hilari Varnadore, Vice President for Cities, U.S. Green Building Council, and Amy Pastor, Central Florida Chair, U.S. Green Building Council, presented the award and provided attendees with an overview of the certification criteria and program. “Orange County is one of 176 counties in the U.S. that have earned certification among more than 200 cities and community districts,” said Varnadore.
The LEED for Cities and Communities program recognizes Orange County’s ongoing commitment to enhancing sustainability & community resilience for all. The score was based on 407 rigorous criteria that highlight programs, services, and policies across nine categories, including Community Engagement, Water Supply & Efficiency, Human Rights, Natural Systems, Transportation, Equity, Energy, and Materials Management. “The LEED certification criteria helped Orange County use data-driven performance indicators to compare itself to others around the world and track progress towards our goals, “ said Mayor Demings.
Since 2005, LEED, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the most widely used high-performance building & construction rating system in the world. Launched in 2019, the LEED For Cities and Communities program revolutionizes how cities, counties, and communities are planned, developed, and operated to improve their overall sustainability and quality of life. “Transforming our buildings and spaces happens one project at a time. Orange County understands the value of LEED and has shown extraordinary leadership in reshaping the market,” said Peter Templeton, President and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council.
Photo Caption: Jeff Benavides, Orange County Government’s Chief Sustainability and Resilience Officer, thanks county staff for their work in achieving LEED for Cities and Communities Gold Certification, during the U.S. Green Building Council’s award presentation on April 6, 2022, in downtown Orlando.