Cuyahoga County Announces LEED Gold Certification & $100,000 Annual Savings with New Electricity Contract

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Jeane’ Holley (Cuyahoga County): (216) 640-0821, or

Cleveland, OH – Today, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced that the Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters received LEED Gold certification. In addition, due to a new electricity contract, the County will save $100,000 annually, while increasing the use of renewable energy resources from 50% to 75%.

"The growth that the Department of Sustainability has made since the beginning of the year is terrific,” said Budish. “One of our priorities here in the County is creating a sustainable future. We wish to make sure that we leave a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren.”

The collaboration between Cuyahoga County’s Department of Public Works and the Department of Sustainability has allowed the County to reach an agreement with AEP Energy, to sign a new 32-month electricity contract for close to 90% of County buildings. The new contract with AEP Energy provides 75% of electricity, which comes from renewable resources. The County’s previous contract with First Energy provided only 50% of electricity from renewable resources. The agreement with AEP Energy allows for the County to continue its mission in becoming more environmentally sustainable.

“At a time in history when there is great need for reduction in dirty sources of energy, Cuyahoga County is trying to do our part,” said Mike Foley, Director of the Department of Sustainability. “We are building green and using renewable fuels to power our buildings. We all have a long way to go, but this is a good start and we know we will be making more announcements in the future about clean energy projects throughout Cuyahoga County.”

Recently, Cuyahoga County received the plaque for The Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters achieving LEED Gold certification. Highlights of the LEED Gold achievement include:

  • Access to public transportation
  • Parking spaces for low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles
  • Bicycle racks
  • Reduction of Heat island effect – green roof/reflective white EPDM roof/tree planting in park
  • Lower heating and cooling energy… results in lower air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions

Water Efficiency

  • 42% reduction in water usage achieved
  • Dual Flush Toilets – gives two different flush options – one for a light flush at 1.1 gal, one for complete flush at 1.6 gal
  • Water efficient landscaping installed on roof garden. Species requiring minimal water selected (no irrigation)
  • Solar powered lavatory faucets with controlled flow rate and temperature…designed to deliver energy and water savings

Materials and Resources

  • 88% of construction was recycled
  • 20% of materials utilized were composed of recycled materials
  • 20% regional materials (located within 500 ft. of site)
  • Low and no VOC paints, adhesives, sealants, coatings and carpet
  • Composite wood products and FSC certified wood (Forest Stewardship Council- ensures product comes from well managed forests that provide environmental benefits)

Heating and Cooling Systems

  • High energy efficient heating and cooling systems
  • AC system utilizes evaporative condensing to cools the supply air at a higher energy efficiency than a typical air cooled chiller system
Lighting System
  • Designed with motion sensors
  • Light sensors dim/brighten lights depending on amount of natural light coming through glass curtain wall Elevator System
  • Destination dispatch system utilized for elevators
  • Reduces waiting times and travel times
  • Passengers touch a keypad indicating the floor they wish to travel to and are immediately directed to the appropriate elevator car

As the County continues to make strides to increase sustainability, Cuyahoga County recently partnered with Ohio State University’s Extension program to be a part of the 2016 Summer Sprout Program. The Summer Sprout Program will allow for the County to create a community garden on the rooftop of the Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters. The program provides gardens with soil testing, seeds, starter plants, tilling services, soil, humus, educational resources and workshops.

The Department of Sustainability promotes economic development to support businesses that provide environmentally sustainable products and services; educates the public about environmentally sustainable practices; and collaborates with businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to develop programs incorporating environmentally sustainable methods into accepted practice.