As if I didn't have enough reason to be proud of my home state of Wisconsin—it's also now home to the greenest building in the world.
The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center has received Platinum LEED Certification, the highest possible recognition for green buildings in the United States. Following a rigorous assessment, LEED awarded the Legacy Center 61 points, more than any other building yet rated in the world. The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center is the first “net zero energy” building in Wisconsin and the first carbon neutral building certified by LEED.
Aldo Leopold was a Wisconsin conservationist and writer (and also one of my longtime heroes) who defined conservation as a way of life in which land does well for its inhabitants, citizens do well by their land, and both end up better by reason of partnership. Aldo Leopold recognized that no matter how sophisticated we become, people will always depend on the land—“the land” being shorthand for the community that not only includes and values people but also plants, animals, soils, and waters.
Some of the center's green features include photovoltaic panels, earth tubes that naturally ventilate the building, a radiant floor system, locally sourced, sustainably harvested wood, natural daylighting, and wood heat.