Carbon-neutral buildings are not new news, but the first-ever LEED-platinum carbon neutral building certainly is. The Aldo Leopold Foundation Headquarters, located in Wisconsin, has been certified as the the first ever, fully LEED-platinum certified, carbon neutral building in the world, making it the greenest building ever built, with zero footprint and great design.

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The building is located in Fairfield, Wisconsin. Built for $4 million dollars, the 12,000 square foot center is as green as they come, with the project obtaining 61 out of the 69 available LEED points. The building was designed by Kubala-Washatko Architects and Boldt Construction.

The building produces 15% more energy than what it consumes by using 198-panel 39.6 kilowatt solar electric system, the second largest in Wisconsin. To save on energy costs, heating and cooling will be done via a radiant system installed within the concrete floors. Proper insulation of the building, use of geothermal energy, good passive design to allow for daylighting and heating during winter and shading during summer, cross ventilation, and operable windows all contribute towards achieving this remarkable goal. Even the design of the site was carefully thought out to properly differentiate between high use and low use areas, thus diminishing the wasted energy required to heat or cool sections of the complex which would not be needed.

Energy wasn’t the only focus in this remarkable building. Built to honor the vision of famed conservationist Algo Leopold, the center has not only been awarded LEED platinum certification, but will be honored by the Forest Stewardship Council during the third annual Designing and Building with FSC Award at the 2007 GreenBuild conference and expo in Chicago, for its use of sustainable timber for almost 100% of its structure.

“This building does things that people are dreaming about,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president of the U.S. Green Building Council. “There are people out there saying, ‘Somehow, somewhere a building will be able to do that.’ This building is doing it today.”

+ The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center + Aldo Leopold Legacy Center Wins FSC Award