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Since fiscal year 2008, USAG-HI has incorporated the Army Military Construction Program stipulations which requires that new facilities be build in accordance with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard and Green Building Rating System. The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.

Pursuing LEED certification means a number of energy efficiency and environmental criteria have been met, and that the building was constructed with significantly less raw natural resources. To gain the LEED certification, facilities have to achieve a certain number of points or credits. While the cost of constructing sustainable, LEED certified buildings is approximately 2-3 percent higher than standard construction, some of the credits available, such as energy-efficient features, can reap rapid payback to offset the higher cost to construct. Not to be discounted in the sustainable buildings movement, are USAG-HI's efforts to renovate its older facilities in need of a makeover with sustainable standards in mind. Some examples include:

Aggressively checking and correcting leaks
Installing utility meters on larger facilities to account for energy consumption
Installing water-conserving toilets and urinals
Installing low-flow faucets and showerheads
Increasing natural lighting and relamping facilities with more energy efficient lighting
Installing window treatment with heat reflecting properties
Using less toxic carpeting and paints to ensure healthier indoor air quality

Ultimately, the sustainability success or failure of any building, new or renovated, relies heavily on the occupants' behaviors. An older, less sustainably designed building with the occupants on board with energy conserving behaviors, water savings, recycling, etc., can create more efficiencies in a building than a new, sustainable building where occupants do not do so.

Frequently Asked Questions
• More information about LEED can be found at the U.S. Green Building Council website.
Sustainability & Environmental Topics from A to Z
• Policy and Guidance Sustainable Design and Development

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