Wake County's Hammond Road Detention Center expansion and Justice Center have achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). These buildings were designed to achieve the base LEED certification, but have earned enough points between energy savings, reuse and recycling and other factors to achieve a higher LEED Silver Rating. Commissioners were presented with the certifications during their meeting Monday, December 2, 2013.In 2009, one of the Board of Commissioners' goals was to enhance environmental stewardship. The priority within this goal was to find fiscally responsible ways to incorporate sustainability strategies."Our goal is to design and construct facilities that are both effective and efficient," said Mark Forestieri, director, Facilities Design & Construction. "This achievement tells us that we have met those goals and have been able to be good environmental stewards at the same time. The LEED certifications at Hammond and the Justice Center are something Wake County and all of our residents can be proud of."The Hammond Road Detention Center expansion was approved by Commissioners in 2009 and opened in April 2012. It is also the first LEED-certified jail in North Carolina. It is a multi-use facility incorporating detention offices for the Wake County Sheriff, Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification, Magistrates and a District Courtroom. The 415,000 square-foot expansion consolidates these functions within the Detention Center and uses energy efficient heating and cooling systems, water conservation and LED lighting systems. These measures are estimated to reduce overall energy consumption costs by 12 percent and to reduce water consumption by 60 percent, or more than six million gallons a year.The Justice Center, which opened in July 2013 and was approved by Commissioners in 2009, is a 577,000 square-foot, 11-story building. The Justice Center provides public meeting space for the Board of Commissioners and administrative space for the County Manager, County Attorney, Finance and Budget, Register of Deeds, Revenue/Assessor and other support functions. It has 19 new courtrooms and associated support spaces, with the capacity to add four additional courtrooms in the future. It houses all of Wake County's criminal courtrooms. The contemporary neo-Gothic architectural design uses and incorporates durable, regionally available materials to provide a timeless and permanent environment. The building features energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, water conservation and natural lighting systems estimated to reduce overall energy consumption costs by 15 percent and to reduce water consumption by 40 percent."In most cases, LEED certification is not achieved until after a building has been operational for a year or more," said Forestieri. "For the Justice Center to achieve this status just a few months after opening is a testament to the building's innovative design and construction."LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED has guided the design, construction, operations and maintenance of more than 50,000 projects in all 50 states and 135 countries.