Press release: Billings Public Library’s LEED Platinum certification a win for YVCC! – Feb. 5, 2016

February 5, 2016

Categories: Clean Energy, News, Northern Plains Resource Council

BillingsPublicLibraryAtriumAlmost four years after Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council started the campaign for the new Billings Public Library to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, and more than two years after it first opened its doors, the library’s LEED Platinum certification is official!

The library announced in January that it achieved LEED Platinum certification — the highest award given by the US Green Building Council.  The library joins Northern Plains’ own Home on the Range as one of seven LEED Platinum buildings in Billings. See them all in our Green Building Map of Billings.

“Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council is excited to celebrate this great news with the Billings community,” said Ed Gulick, an architect at High Plains Architects and former chair of Northern Plains and YVCC. “Our members advocated for the new Public Library to be LEED certified because we believe Billings deserves amenities we can be proud of and that make this a more healthy, inviting, and sustainable community in which to work and play.

LEED is a rigorous standard that requires third party verification, ensuring that intended sustainability benefits are actually delivered.  Achieving LEED Platinum establishes the Billings Public Library as one of the best performing buildings in the country.

The library undeniably would not have pursued LEED certification without the advocacy of YVCC members, who raised the issue early, lobbied the library foundation that had fundraised for the new building, and led a postcard campaign to library decision-makers.

Ultimately, a YVCC member was given a position on the library’s design team; they agreed to pursue LEED certification when YVCC promised to pay the approximately $5,000 cost of registration and certification through LEED. This enabled the library to assert that pursuing LEED caused no additional cost to taxpayers.
Since opening, the library has seen a record high number of patrons, and hardly a day goes by without an event being hosted in the large Community Room.

“Achieving LEED Platinum establishes the Billings Public Library as a nationwide model for environmentally responsible design, reflecting our community values and ingenuity,” said Anya Fiechtl, an architect at High Plains Architects and a member of Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council.

“Strategies like daylighting, energy efficiency, on-site renewable energy generation, and water savings work together to reduce utility costs and save taxpayer dollars.

“Other features that promote clean air, healthy materials, and connection to nature make the library a wonderful and inviting space in which to gather, learn, and grow as a community. This achievement is cause for celebration!”

NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL
220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154
info@northernplains.org