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World’s first LEED zero building

A rooftop solar array and onsite constructed wetland have helped the Petinelli headquarters, housed in a converted warehouse, to achieve net-zero energy and water. Petinelli Platinum used to be the ultimate LEED rating but not anymore. A new program, LEED Zero, asks project teams to show a year’s worth of data proving zero impact in at least one of four categories: energy, carbon, water, or waste. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has now awarded its first LEED Zero certification, for net-zero energy, to engineering and consulting firm Petinelli for its headquarters in the Brazilian city of Curitiba.

“We’ve been bugging USGBC about net-zero energy for a while now,” commented Guido Petinelli, Managing Director at the firm. “It was a pleasant surprise to hear about the launch of LEED Zero just before Greenbuild Chicago.”

Petinelli immediately jumped at the chance to certify its headquarters, which has been net-positive energy for more than a year and also recently achieved Platinum under LEED v4 for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (O&M) using the Arc platform. Petinelli said, “It was always a dream to have a net-zero-energy and -water HQ.”

The building itself is a converted two-story warehouse, roughly 4,700 feet, originally built in the 1980s. A 15kW rooftop solar array provides 25 per cent more energy than is needed to operate the 25-person office space. “We didn’t understand this at the time, but LEED Platinum was a stepping stone toward LEED Zero,” said Petinelli.