With efforts that continued to build thus going beyond earning a STAR Community Certification several years ago the City of Las Vegas has now achieved LEED Gold Community certification in recognition of its work to build a sustainable community joining a global network of more than 100 LEED-certified cities and communities.
“With this recognition Las Vegas joins a growing group of over 100 LEEDing cities to be certified using the LEED for Cities and Communities rating system” provided Daniel A. Huard, Nevada’s only LEED Fellow and a global authority on green building. Huard adds “LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is the most widely used green building rating system on the planet used in over 167 countries currently. “The city earned this LEED Gold Community certification for effectively implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at improving resource conservation, sustainability and the standard of living for residents and then documenting these successes as compliance achievements towards their certification.” provides Huard a globally known green building authority.
The city’s efforts have been a result of foundational policy and continuous progress since 2006, when former Mayor Oscar B. Goodman signed the U.S. of Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement. This was followed in 2008, when Las Vegas’ City Council set goals and targets to increase the city’s renewable energy production and as well to reduce emissions by adopting a sustainable energy strategy.
Energy savings from these efforts save the city approximately $5 million in annual utility costs. These initiatives continue to have a positive effect on the community – the city shares that it’s carbon footprint is decreasing and its size today (summer 2020) is equivalent to where it was in 1950, despite southern Nevada’s unprecedented population boom by over 2 million additional residents since then.
The City of Las Vegas provides within their published sustainability information some accomplishments include:
- Completion of six megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy generating installations
- Replacement of 42,000 streetlights with LED lighting
- Multiple LEED certified buildings, including Las Vegas City Hall and additional City buildings
- More than 500 miles of bike lanes
- Increased recycling rates at city facilities
- Reduced water usage within city facilities
Within the City of Las Vegas every public building, park, and streetlight is served by renewable energy, making the city of Las Vegas the first large municipality running with 100 percent renewable energy.
LEED Fellow Daniel Huard adds “Las Vegas is really a center for ‘Sustainability in Practice’. Most residents and visitors do not know that we have had over 164 LEED Certified activities with over 56 Million Square Feet of LEED Certified projects in Southern Nevada. I am so grateful to have participated in many of these landmark projects including the world’s largest LEED Platinum Certified Campus of Buildings. I am so very happy to have contributed to the authoring of the LEED v4 and v4.1 Ratings Systems and their ongoing advancements.”