Add one more to the growing list of energy efficient buildings at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The latest ORNL building to achieve the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification is the Chestnut Ridge Maintenance Shops (CRMS), building 8930, next door to the Spallation Neutron Source.

LEED—sponsored by the US Green Building Council—is a scoring system that rates all buildings equally according to their level of sustainability, explained architect Cecil Peters of ORNL’s Facilities Development Division.

To list a few criteria, CRMS earned gold by its use of maximized outside green space, water efficient landscaping, low-flow water fixtures, high efficiency HVAC components, high-performance building skins, and parking-friendly spaces for bicycles and electric cars—adding up to an energy savings of more than 30 percent. Furthermore, CRMS uses no volatile organic compounds in any of its materials, and buys 100 percent of its energy from renewable energy credits.

The CRMS is the 16th building lab wide to gain LEED certification, with more projects on the way, says Peters.

“The intent of the LEED program is to raise awareness to the public, and to raise the degree of the sustainable projects worldwide. The main point, of course, is to save energy, save water, and reduce our carbon footprint,” he said. “And, it’s pretty eye catching when you can say we’re saving 44,000 gallons of water a year in just this one facility alone.”