By Joel Scanlon
Mercy Ridge Retirement Community has earned the distinction of becoming the only existing and first retirement community in the USA to get LEED Silver certification. The community celebrating its 10th anniversary has received LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) under Operations and Maintenance under the existing buildings category.
The community is managed by CRSA/LCS Management, a partnership venture between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and Mercy Health Services and located in the neighborhoods of Baltimore. The community combining the convenience of urban living with the charm of the country is located over a 32 acre campus with private residential constructions offering a range of amenities and personalized services.
CQI Associates, a Columbia, Maryland-based consulting company providing energy and ecological consulting services, has assisted in making the required changes for the review of the USGBC LEED certification. The company completed its energy assessment in the community in 2008 and suggested the required changes to achieve LEED Silver certification.
The LEED initiatives completed in the community include a natural resources conserving recycling program involving the community and introduction of an organic-based cleaning program to cut down the discharge of harmful chemicals to the environment. It cleaned and upgraded the HEPA filters to stop spreading of viral and other airborne bacterial infections. It installed ENERGY STAR rated lightings and installations to cut down energy costs and arranged for the use of organic pesticides and fertilizers in the exterior campus maintenance. The building currently deploys environment-friendly landscaping materials and tractors to upkeep it’s landscaping.