From the compost and recycling bins on the floor to the bicycles on wall racks and the 50-kilowatt solar power array on the roof, Entegrityâ€™s headquarters in east Little Rock practically screams that its occupants care about the environment.
But just how green did an extensive $500,000 renovation make the building, home to partners Chris Ladner, Matt Bell and Michael Parker and dozens of the companyâ€™s nearly 100 employees? Hereâ€™s a clue: It saves or creates enough power to balance out all of its energy use.
â€śItâ€™s the second building in the world to get LEED Zero certification, and the first in the United States,â€ť said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, who was in Little Rock to celebrate the sustainability and energy services companyâ€™s achievement. â€śOf course itâ€™s a small world, with only 7.6 billion people.â€ť
LEED Zero is the highest distinction for building efficiency in the USGBCâ€™s ratings, the most widely used green building assessment system in the world, and Ramanujam gave Bell and Ladner a certification plaque, as well as leading a round of applause. â€śLEED,â€ť he said, referring to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, â€śdemands leadership.â€ť
â€śIt has become increasingly clear that we as designers, operators, owners and inhabitants of buildings have a mandate to minimize resource use,â€ť Ramanujam told the Arkansas Business. â€śLEED Zero recognizes those leaders who are pushing the standard for building performance even higher.â€ť Ramanujam, who was visiting Little Rock for the first time, was accompanied around town by Linda K. Smith, an Arkansas USGBC official.