The City of Atlantic Beach will host a dedication event Sept. 16 in recognition of becoming the first LEED Silver-certified city in Florida. The dedication is at 6 p.m. in the Commission Chamber of City Hall, 800 Seminole Road. The event will kick off a City Commission workshop on the City’s coastal resiliency and vulnerability assessment.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is the world’s most widely used green building rating program. Commissioner Candace Kelly is credited with coming up with the idea to seek certification during the 2018 Atlantic Beach Commission visioning process.
The City of Atlantic Beach’s efforts to become LEED certified was spearheaded by its Environmental Stewardship Committee, working in conjunction with Planning and Community Development Director Shane Corbin and Planner Brian Broedell.
“With our love of parks and green spaces, public beaches, and a lush maritime forest, we are thrilled and proud that Atlantic Beach is the first city in Florida to earn a LEED for Cities distinction under the performance path,” said Mayor Ellen Glasser. “With our LEED Silver certification, we demonstrate our commitment to lead and transform the future of our great state by creating a roadmap for success that includes resiliency, equity, and sustainability.”
Atlantic Beach achieved LEED Silver for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at improving sustainability and quality of life. 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.
“The work of cities such as Atlantic Beach is a driving force in ensuring a more sustainable future for all,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Cities that achieve LEED certification are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment and striving to improve the living standard for its residents. Atlantic Beach is setting a standard for what it means to be a high performing, sustainable city and we applaud their achievements and progress. It has been proven that what gets measured gets managed, what gets managed gets improved, what gets improved gets replicated, and what gets replicated, transforms the market for the better.”
City Manager Joe Gerrity said Atlantic Beach is fully committed to measuring its environmental footprint and creating specific strategies to reduce that footprint.
“Gathering the data needed for our LEED for Cities certification required every department to work together and share information in new ways,” he said. “The roadmap our staff developed through the application process contains a wide range of strategies that can help inform future planning and decision-making in ways that previously were not part of the conversation”.
For example, reducing the City’s carbon footprint will now be considered when making decisions regarding transportation infrastructure and land-use planning.
“Ultimately, LEED for Cities will make us a more environmentally friendly, efficient, sustainable, and resilient community,” Gerrity said.
About the City of Atlantic Beach
The City of Atlantic Beach (est. pop. 13,608) is the municipal government serving a seaside and marshside community of small-charm charm, unique history, an extensive park system, and active and healthy lifestyles. 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.
About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, an international network of local community leaders, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.