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The Right Place

Green in West Michigan

In keeping with our long tradition of caring about the community's future, West Michigan has gone green — in a big way. A full 11 percent of all LEED-certified buildings can be found in the Grand Rapids area, more than any other city in the nation. From the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the first LEED-certified art museum in the world, to the countless new buildings that have been designed using green principles, our communities are leading the Green Wave.

Green highlights:

  • Grand Rapids has more LEED-certified buildings per capita than any other city in the country. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) spells out in detail what constitutes a “green building.”
  • The Grand Rapids Art Museum is the nation’s first LEED-certified art museum.
  • Other LEED structures include: Grand Rapids Ballet performance hall, 340-room J.W. Marriott hotel, and Grand Valley State University Engineering School.
  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park achieved LEED certification for such features as a heat-reflective white rubber roof, water-saving irrigation systems and recycled building materials
  • Our public transit system, The Rapid, features hybrid buses and the first “green roof” installed on a transit facility in the U.S.
  • We were the first U.S. city to be recognized by the United Nations University as a Regional Center of Expertise in the education of sustainable development
  • The city obtains 20% of its power from renewable resources, with a goal of 100% by 2020.

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