Much has been made about the $4 billion of new development that the $220 million Euclid Corridor Transportation Project (ECTP) has leveraged. But little is known about the type of building work that has come on line since 2008.
Euclid Avenue, it turns out, is not only the site of greener transportation options, with its hybrid bus-rapid transit line and the city’s first bike lanes, it is also a magnet for green buildings. Whether it coincided with Euclid’s complete street makeover, 15 LEED-certified buildings, representing 1.66 million square feet—or, the largest concentration of “green” buildings in Cleveland—have been added since the ECTP started.
Add LEED-registered (those not yet completing the certification process) buildings and Euclid will generate 7 more green buildings representing 1.08 million sq. ft. including multi-family (2), public space, hotel, entertainment and office (2).
A map and details of the buildings, including what level of LEED certification, can be found at Washington-based non-profit Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG).
Downtown Cleveland represents the largest cluster of LEED-certified and registered buildings, with some 20 green buildings scattered from the Flats East Bank to the East 9th Street Corridor, which has five. Downtown has been the site of the private-sector led green building initiative, the Cleveland 2030 District.
The tally of the “green TOD” on Euclid includes six commercial, four medical, two mixed-use (including Uptown), two university, one multifamily and one office wrapped around a parking garage (for the Cleveland Clinic; parking garages cannot receive LEED certification).
When the lens is widened to a 1/4-mile radius of the Euclid Corridor, the number of LEED-Certified buildings grows to 27.
GBIG shows 74 LEED-certified buildings for the Cleveland area. The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is not the only green building rating system. The GBIG database shows 31 additional buildings in Cleveland with an EPA EnergyStar rating. The City of Cleveland has a green building requirement that includes Enterprise Green Communities, a certification that covers 10 more Cleveland buildings.
Cleveland built its first green building in 2003, at 3500 Lorain Avenue. The city has since adopted supportive policies like its Sustainable Municipal Building requirement that new municipal construction and major renovations achieve LEED Silver standards and achieve energy efficiency levels 30% beyond ASHRAE 90.1. Cleveland also set specific goals to reduce carbon emissions from buildings in its Climate Action Plan.
But Cleveland doesn’t make the Top 25 in national rankings of cities with green buildings, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The top ranked cities like Seattle (#5) can claim aggressive policies like its goal to reduce energy use by 20% across its building stock by 2020 and become a carbon neutral city by 2050.
Cleveland does get credit for its local initiatives from ACEEE. Not to make excuses, but Cleveland may be somewhat hampered by the state it’s in—that is, Ohio, which failed to make the USGBC’s Top Ten state rankings this month. Illinois took top honors. Chicago ranks #9 in the ACEEE green building by cities list. It’s hardly a coincidence.
Other lessons to glean from looking at the location of Cleveland’s greenest buildings? Urbanity concentrates resources, but also the expectation of environmental stewardship?
The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the US Green Building Council holds its annual meeting on Thursday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the Tink, the new Student Center at Case (11038 Bellflower Road). The agenda includes updates and discussion of what can be done to accelerate green building in Northeast Ohio.