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. 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. 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 25-person office space.