Harvard University Campus Services announced today (February 14, 2012) that it operates the first building in New England to receive a second platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program.*

The building, located at 46 Blackstone Street and home to several Campus Services departments, was initially awarded Platinum certification in 2007 under the LEED for New Construction rating system. That project included a full gut rehab of the 40,000 square foot complex located along the Charles River in Cambridge. It was the first building at Harvard—and in all of higher education— to achieve a LEED platinum certification. Now, 46 Blackstone Street has again distinguished itself as one of the region’s premier green buildings by receiving a second Platinum certification, this one from the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance (EBOM) program.

From the earliest design stages of the initial renovation project in 2006, we established an objective to make Blackstone a living laboratory for sustainability and the optimization of building operations.

Achieving the highest LEED EBOM rating took about 12 months to complete. The entire effort was led by a project team comprised of Facilities Maintenance Operations and Harvard Green Building Services. “This certification is particularly impressive because it has documented that Blackstone South has outperformed the energy consumption predictions of its design model developed during the original renovation,” said Assistant Manager for Green Building Services Kevin Bright.

In addition to energy use, the EBOM rating system evaluates the full profile of environmental impacts from all building operations and occupancy programs, including the scheduled maintenance of mechanical equipment, recycling and composting of all waste streams, purchasing of sustainable office supplies and paper products, and elimination of chemicals for cleaning and landscaping.

“From the earliest design stages of the initial renovation project in 2006, we established an objective to make Blackstone a living laboratory for sustainability and the optimization of building operations,” said Director of Facilities Maintenance Operations, Jeffrey Smith. “The Blackstone experience has already taught us many things, some good and some not so good. But there is value in all of it… and we remain committed to continuing to share our learnings and demonstrate approaches that can help building managers across Harvard improve efficiency and lower operating costs.”

The LEED–EBOM program was developed in 2006 by the USGBC to provide building owners with clear accountability measures for the sustainable operation and maintenance of their facilities. The double platinum distinction is the first in both New England and the Ivy League, and only the fifth worldwide.

*The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System is administered through the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). It encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. The Green Building Rating System ™ provides progressive levels of LEED® certification including: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.