"Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design," or LEED, is an obvious standard in environmental design and Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, CA strives to maintain its natural resources while attempting to accommodate thousands of tourists. The LEED standard was established by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1993 as a national environmental rating system to encourage the mainstream architecture industry to utilize sustainable practices. Some accepted home design practices include:
• A reduced carbon footprint by utilizing local building materials;
• The use of local masonry rock;
• Installation of energy efficient windows and systems;
• And the purchase of recycled carpeting, decking, and drywall.
Mammoth Mountain boasts a small handful of completed, LEED certified buildings, influencing environmental design in the Eastern Sierra. The Platinum certified cabin 11 at Tamarack Lodge was the first LEED architecture design project undertaken by Mammoth Mountain in 2008 and the first of its kind in the region. This three bedroom, innovative cabin, located on the shore of Twin Lakes, has room for 8 and features environmentally friendly hardwood flooring, fiberglass insulation, local masonry rock, pest resistant siding, energy efficient windows, and recycled carpeting, decking, and drywall.
A second LEED certified project in Mammoth is Altis IV, a collection of luxury resort residences. The completed first phase includes four Gold Certified homes which “exhibit the richest materials and comforts without the environmental impact.” The Altis project used locally-sourced materials and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified hardwoods. The FSC, a non-profit, ensures that consumers are aware of which wood products do not contribute to habitat destruction, water pollution, displacement of indigenous peoples, or violence against people and wildlife.
LEED certification is important to promote in a town where the environment plays a crucial role in its branding and economic survival. LEED encourages the use of recycled products, FSC-certified hardwoods, and environmental stewardship.
What new LEED projects are propelling environmentally friendly design where you live?
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