The City of Atlantic Beach has achieved LEED Gold certification and is the first city in the world to recertify under the LEED for Cities and Communities Rating System from the pilot version to v4.1 version. The City of Atlantic Beach is part of a growing group of more than 300 local governments and communities worldwide to be certified using the LEED for Cities rating system. There are now 20 LEED-certified local governments in Florida. A public celebration program, originally scheduled for Dec. 13, will be held at a yet-to-be-scheduled date in 2023.
The City of Atlantic Beach’s efforts to recertify at the Gold level was spearheaded by its citizen-based Environmental Stewardship Committee, working in conjunction with City Planning and Community Development Director Amanda Askew. The City’s predominant work was performed by Principal Planner Brian Broedell. City Commission member Candace Kelly is credited with proposing LEED certification during the 2018 Atlantic Beach City Commission visioning process, and the City Commission continues to steadfastly support this seminal environmental initiative.
Mayor Ellen Glasser said it wasn’t enough for the community “to passively appreciate its natural and community assets, and just rely on hope that the next generation would have them.”
“This, along with our recently adopted city vision and Community Action Plan, speak to our community's significant buy-in,” Glasser said. “Thanks to our Environmental Stewardship Committee, our staff and other experts, and our local elected officials, but — mostly — I want to thank our citizens. Together, we did this.”
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is the world’s most widely used green-building rating program. LEED is designed to help buildings, communities and cities achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. LEED for Cities enables cities to measure and track outcomes and be evaluated based on key metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability. Performance is tracked through Arc, a digital platform that connects, manages, analyzes and scores sustainability progress using a performance score.
“We’re beyond lucky to have such an amazing planning staff in Atlantic Beach that can take a bold Commission idea such as getting LEED for Cities-certified and turn it into a reality. They are truly a class act,” said Atlantic Beach City Manager Shane Corbin. “I hope that LEED for Cities can be used as a tool to make this city a leader in environmental protection for years to come.”
Atlantic Beach improved its 2019 LEED Silver score of 58 to a LEED Gold score of 67 under the much more robust and rigorous LEED for Cities v4.1 version. In addition to implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at improving sustainability, resiliency, and quality of life, the City of Atlantic Beach also created and passed a Sustainability & Resilience Community Action Plan, which includes aspirational 2050 goals.
“A sustainable Atlantic Beach strives to offer its residents a higher living standard. A LEED Atlantic Beach takes action and delivers measurable outcomes that improves overall quality of life for residents,” said Peter Templeton, USGBC’s president and CEO. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection, building more resilient cities is crucial and the City of Atlantic Beach’s LEED Gold certification is a symbol of their leadership.”
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About the City of Atlantic Beach
The City of Atlantic Beach (est. pop. 13,513) has a strong sense of belonging and safety. Our citizens and government care deeply about community character, and we understand that unified support is required to preserve it. We are graced with the functional beauty of our beach, our marsh, and our tree canopy. Our shady streets and multi-use paths connect our welcoming neighborhoods and vibrant local businesses. Our city supports our diverse, multigenerational, socially linked community with green spaces, active lifestyles, parks, and programming. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean (to the east), the Intracoastal Waterway (to the west) and Hanna Park (to the north), Atlantic Beach is considered by many to be the most desirable place to live in Northeast Florida. For more information, visit coab.us and connect on Facebook, YouTube, and AB Environmental Stewardship Committee Facebook.
About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a healthy, resilient and equitable future for all through the development of green buildings, cities and communities. For more than 20 years, USGBC has been advancing green building practices through the development of LEED, the world’s most widely used green building program. With the support of thousands of members, volunteers and partners, USGBC provides robust green building education courses, a rigorous professional credentialing program, and advocates for effective public policies. It convenes an international network of green building and sustainability leaders through the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and forward thinking programs, including the Center for Green Schools. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.