Right now you are in the Education Center, one of our newest buildings, which is LEED Platinum Certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This building was built to be energy efficient and relies on renewable energy. This is just one example of how the SWA strives to balance industry and our environment. Some items that make this building LEED Platinum Certified are outlined in the next few sections:
- The floor below you is made from recycled tires.
- There are many windows so we don’t need to use a lot of artificial light. This is called day lighting. Also, the metal shades on the windows redirect the sunlight away from the building, which helps to keep the building cooler.
- The light bulbs are energy efficient and motion activated. They also change their intensity depending on the amount of light coming in through the windows.
- Our green roof is another aspect that makes this building LEED Platinum Certified
If you walk outside through one of the doors on the third level, you will see our Green Roof. It houses multiple species of plants, all of which are Florida natives and adapted to the weather here. These plants are used to living in the hot, wet summers and dry winters, which means we don’t have to add a lot of extra fertilizer and water for them to survive. The plants you see here are great alternatives for your yard, and provide food for bees and butterflies. This rooftop garden helps to absorb heat, carbon dioxide and storm water. This keeps the building cooler and allows us to use the captured water for our restrooms, sinks and landscaping. The cistern next to the Education Center can hold 12,000 gallons of rain water.