McHugh Engineering Associates, Inc. (MEA) has been awarded LEED Silver Certification for its corporate headquarters. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes, and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

McHugh Engineering Associates, Inc. achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. More than 89,600 commercial and institutional projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 17.1 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and more than 164 countries and territories.

“LEED is a transformative tool that ensures a building is designed and operating to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health while enhancing the triple bottom line - people, planet, and profit,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “By prioritizing sustainability, McHugh Engineering Associates, Inc. project is leading the way in their industry and helping USGBC continue toward our vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation.”

During the design of their corporate headquarters, McHugh Engineering Associates evaluated the 6 LEED categories (sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, material & resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design) and generated a strategy to develop their high performance building. It was important to MEA to choose a sustainable site so that its employees would have more access to public transportation and restaurants. It was also a high priority to renovate an existing building as opposed to constructing a new building out of the ground. The building at 136 Poplar Street met both those criteria. The original building was built in the early 1900s and was in need of refurbishment and a new vision. The building is located in a prime location within walking distance to several amenities such as a train station, bus routes, restaurants, and housing. The building has low-flow plumbing fixtures to help reduce the amount of potable water the building uses. MEA worked with the architect, Arcus Design Group, and performed an energy model to study different building materials. The analysis helped determine the economic payback on building insulation levels. During construction, Shields Construction employed a recycling program that recycled approximately 88% of the demolished building components, diverting 81 tons of debris from landfills. In addition, Arcus Design Group utilized low-VOC paints and adhesives for a better indoor environment.