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LEED

What is LEED? According to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is “a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven building rating system... [that] evaluates environmental performance from a whole building perspective over a building’s life cycle, providing a definitive standard for what constitutes a ‘green building’.” There are four levels of certification:

  • Certified
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

At Watkins Architect, we have architects on staff who are LEED certified and have the ability to assist you in design, planning, implementing, and completing the appropriate paperwork to have your building become LEED certified. Our staff has assisted many commercial buildings in the Berks County area, as well as across the United States, to become LEED certified. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a meeting. Explore our list below of completed LEED projects and the details on what went into their projects to help achieve the LEED certification.


  • Watkins architect, architecture, hospital architecture, school architecture, architecture renovation, architecture design, architecture firm, Eco-friendly architecture, energy efficient architecture

EarthRes Group — Pipersville, Bucks County, PA

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Located in Pipersville PA, Watkins Architect LTD designed the 16,000 SF addition and renovations for the existing 6,000 SF office building for the EarthRes Group, an environmental engineering firm in Bucks County, PA.

The project is LEED Silver certified. Sustainable practices and features include:

  • Over 91% of all construction waste diverted from the landfill by implementing a rigorous construction waste management plan.
  • Over 14% of all building material content utilized in the project were recycled.
  • More than 44% of all building materials were manufactured and extracted locally within 500 miles of the project site.
  • Parking and pavement were minimized to meet but not exceed zoning requirements, which reduces runoff, lessens heat island effect and encourages bike riding / carpooling.
  • Light fixtures visible to the exterior were designed to limit light pollution and maximize usable light.
  • The building’s energy usage is 14% better than code requirements.
  • Construction materials included environmentally friendly and low VOC paints, sealants, adhesives and coatings.
  • Flooring materials are GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified.
  • Rigorous indoor air quality protection was maintained during all phases of construction to protect the health of the construction workers and future building occupants.
  • Built-in recycling areas were provided to encourage occupant recycling.
  • The building was designed to maximize the use of natural light in conjunction with high efficiency light fixtures for optimized energy performance.
  • The HVAC system does not utilize any CFCs or ozone depleting refrigerants.
  • This project utilizes industry leading low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout. This building also utilizes a rain water collection system which recovers 100% of the rain water on the roof to be used for flushing fixtures and irrigation if needed. The water is stored in a 2,000 gallon underground storage tank. Based upon an average of 42 inches of rain per year, it is estimated to reduce the water consumption by 257,900 gallons annually and reduce the impact on the municipal storm system.
  • Bike racks, shower facilities and a work-out facility were provided for building occupants.
  • Views to the exterior were provided for over 90% of occupied spaces in the facility.
  • A radon mitigation system, which exceeds code requirements, was installed to reduce the potential for health hazards associated with inhaling radon gases, and to reduce the humidity in the building which, in turn, lessens allergens such as mold and mildew.

  • Watkins architect, architecture, hospital architecture, school architecture, architecture renovation, architecture design, architecture firm, Eco-friendly architecture, energy efficient architecture

Penn State Schuylkill: Nittany Apartments V — Schuylkill Haven, Schuylkill County, PA

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Watkins Architect was pleased to be the Penn State Schuylkill project architect for the $4 million residence hall that opened in August 2010. The 30,000 SF new apartment building includes 12 apartment units with 72 beds, student lounge, laundry facilities, public restrooms and a student life office.

The project is LEED Silver certified. Sustainable practices and features include:

  • 46% of all construction waste diverted from the landfill by implementing a rigorous construction waste management plan.
  • 21% of all building materials utilized in the project were recycled materials.
  • 49% of all building materials were manufactured and extracted locally within 500 miles of the project site.
  • Parking and pavement were minimized to only meet zoning requirements, which reduces runoff, heat island effect and encourages bike riding / carpooling.
  • Lights visible to the exterior were designed to limit light pollution and maximize usable light.
  • The building’s energy usage is 14% better than code requirements.
  • Construction materials included environmentally-friendly and low VOC paints, sealants, adhesives and coatings.
  • Flooring materials are GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified.
  • Rigorous indoor air quality protection was maintained during all phases of construction
  • Built-in recycling areas were provided to encourage occupant recycling.
  • The building was designed to maximize the use of natural light in conjunction with high efficiency light fixtures for optimized energy performance.
  • The HVAC system utilizes no CFC or ozone depleting refrigerants.
  • This project utilizes industry leading low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout. It is estimated to reduce the water consumption by 554,400 gallons per year annually, reducing water bills and the impact on the municipal storm system.

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Knoll Showrooms — Various Locations

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Philadelphia, PA — The new 11,633 SF LEED-CI Silver Certified showroom incorporates a number of environmentally-friendly design elements, including maximized use of natural light and, where necessary, fluorescent fixtures with optimized energy performance and lighting controls; carpeted floors with a backing that contains 76% post-consumer materials; Eco-Spec paint low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs); wall coverings with high recycled content; Energy Star rated appliances; Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood; GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality certified furnishings and textiles; high recycled content building materials; recycling program and rapidly renewable linoleum flooring.

Below is the list of Knoll Showrooms that had these changes implemented:

  • Atlanta, GA — 10,600 SF, LEED-CI Gold Certified
  • Boston, MA — 12,000 SF, LEED-CI Platinum Certified
  • Chicago, IL — 22.600 SF, LEED-CI Gold Certified
  • Philadelphia, PA — 11,633 SF, LEED-CI Silver Certified
  • Phoenix, AZ — 5,500 SF, LEED-CI Gold Certified
  • Seattle, WA — 5,000 SF, LEED-CI Gold Certified

  • Watkins architect, architecture, hospital architecture, school architecture, architecture renovation, architecture design, architecture firm, Eco-friendly architecture, energy efficient architecture

Growing Hearts Early Childhood Education Center

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Located in Fleetwood PA, the new 13,000 SF preschool is anticipating LEED-NC Platinum Certification and incorporates a number of environmentally-friendly design elements, including maximized use of natural light, fluorescent fixtures with optimized energy performance; rapidly renewable cork flooring and carpet with a backing that contains 76% post-consumer materials; Eco-Spec paint low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs); Energy Star rated appliances; Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood; high recycled content building materials, reduced impervious cover, highly reflective roofing and site/tree design to minimize heat island effect, water use reduction, energy use reduction and many other environmentally-friendly design elements.

  • Watkins architect, architecture, hospital architecture, school architecture, architecture renovation, architecture design, architecture firm, Eco-friendly architecture, energy efficient architecture

The Knoll Lubin Manufacturing Facility

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Located in East Greenville PA, Watkins Architect LTD is serving as the LEED Consultant for the required five-year re-certification of this LEED for existing buildings: operations and maintenance building. Services include serving as the project team administrator for the LEED online submittal process, updating the facility’s operation and maintenance manual, analyzing previously submitted supporting documents, completing feasibility checklists for credits that are attainable, making recommendations to make the facility more environmentally-friendly, creating a project schedule for the re-certification process, assigning specific tasks to team members from the facility, organizing, creating and uploading supporting documents for each pre-requisite and credit, and filling in online credit templates.