Mat-Su Recycling Center is First LEED Gold industrial building in Alaska 

By Patty Sullivan of the Mat-Su Borough: The Matanuska-Susitna Borough continues to lead the state in constructing energy efficient and sustainable buildings. The year-old community recycling center is the first industrial facility in Alaska to be LEED certified at the Gold level. Today Mat-Su Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss accepted a glass plaque for the achievement.

LEED Is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s a third-party certification program and a nationally accepted benchmark. Mayor DeVilbiss accepted the plaque from Mark Masteller, the Alaska Director for the Cascadia Green Building Council and a former Chair of the Borough Planning Commission. Masteller spoke before a small gathering in the recycling center classroom off 49th State Street near Palmer.

“Achieving better buildings—including LEED certification—truly involves an integrated team approach. As we move forward in Alaska, and especially given the growing concern about energy costs, we need stellar examples of leadership like this,” Masteller said.

“The Mat-Su Borough has shown that leadership in the arena of high-performance buildings, with the farthest-north LEED schools in the world, and now the first LEED-Gold Industrial building in the state,” he said.

Mayor DeVilbiss highlighted the savings for taxpayers on such buildings. The recycling center alone will save a projected $8,916 annually in utility costs, he said. The first LEED certified school in the state is the Machetanz Elementary School. Its utility costs, under traditional building standards, would have been $300,000 annually. Under LEED standards they were expected to be $85,000. The annual utility costs turned out to be $64,000, DeVilbiss said. “It’s important to build it right, up front,” DeVilbiss said.

Mollie Boyer is Executive Director of the Valley Community for Recycling Solutions, the nonprofit that operates the recycling center for the Borough. Boyer said the center achieved the Gold LEED certification. because how the building was made reflects its ongoing activities. MORE

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