Going for Gold: Rochester named Minnesota’s first LEED Gold City

Energy and Sustainability Director Kevin Bright

Rochester, Minnesota was recently recognized as the state’s first LEED Gold city by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The honor came as a result of the City’s effort to achieve significant municipal sustainability and resiliency goals.

LEED – or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – certification was created by the USGBC and is a globally-recognized green building rating system. It provides a framework to create healthy, efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.

Kevin Bright serves as the Energy and Sustainability Director for the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency and the City of Rochester. Bright explains that, over the past year, the City of Rochester has collected a variety of data related to energy, waste, water, transportation, and human experience to measure improvement over time.

“Rochester is undergoing significant change and LEED for Cities is providing a platform to help us better understand our City from an environmental, social, and equity perspective,” Bright explains. He says the platform is helpful not only to track local change but also to benchmark Rochester against other communities and ultimately improve upon the City’s environmental and sustainability outcomes.

Locally, several new buildings are seeking third-party green building certification – a trend that’s likely to continue due to its inclusion in the DMC Sustainable Building Guidance application.

“The work of cities and communities such as Rochester, Minnesota is a driving force in ensuring a more sustainable future for all,” says USGBC President and CEO Mahesh Ramanujam. “Rochester is setting a standard for what it means to be a high performer and we applaud their efforts and achievements.”