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Sweetwater, has been awarded LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum is the USGBC's highest rating for designing and constructing the world's greenest, most energy-efficient, and healthiest buildings. The award was presented to Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack by Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, and Liz Ellis, representative of the Indiana Chapter of the USGBC at a special ceremony preceding the company's 30th anniversary celebration. Sweetwater's $35 million, 150,000 square foot corporate headquarters was completed in January of 2008. It was designed by Fort Wayne architectural firm MSKTD to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use, and to incorporate a variety of other sustainable strategies. The LEED program verifies environmental performance, and occupant health, and was established to help and encourage companies to design and construct buildings that protect and save precious resources while also making good economic sense. Chuck Surack said, "From the very beginning, we wanted a green, eco-friendly building. Working with the LEED program, our architectural firm MSKTD, and general contractor Corporate Construction, we implemented a variety of ways to make the Sweetwater campus save energy and reduce its overall impact on the environment. I hope that other businesses will examine what's happened here and think seriously of 'going green' as they plan new facilities." Sweetwater's campus is the only commercial LEED Platinum building in Indiana, and one of fewer than 150 LEED Platinum buildings in the United States. Achieving LEED certification of Sweetwater required meeting standards for a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project, Sweetwater's employees, and the broader community. "Sweetwater Sound's LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The urgency of USGBC's mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Sweetwater's leadership serves as a prime example of just how much you can accomplish." An informational video and a complete list of companies involved in the planning, design, and building of Sweetwater's campus can be found at: http://www.sweetwater.com/404page.php?page=feature/leed
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