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New U.S. Courthouse Earns LEED Gold Certification

News Release
Northeast and Caribbean Region

March 23, 2012

New U.S. Courthouse Earns LEED Gold Certification

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A number of sustainable strategies incorporated into the design and construction of Buffalo’s new U.S. Courthouse have earned it a LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, according to the U.S. General Services Administration.

"President Barack Obama has made improving our nation's sustainability a key goal of his administration and GSA is working to achieve this goal through a variety of initiatives involving our building operations, supply services, and fleet management for the government. This Buffalo courthouse accomplishment is another example of GSA’s ongoing commitment to enhance sustainability at all of our facilities, both new and old. The new courthouse will not only serve the space needs of the federal courts in western New York for years to come, but will do so in a way that supports environmental and energy use considerations,” said Denise L. Pease, GSA Northeast and Caribbean Regional Administrator.

Buffalo's new federal courthouse opened for business last November. The building has been designed to use 30% less water than current standards for a facility this size through use of low flow fixtures. It will also use 50% less energy than allowed by current standards. The use of low "E" glazing on the building façade reduces the amount of heat allowed to enter the building, thereby reducing cooling loads. Energy consumption is further reduced by the use of energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems.

In addition to its water and energy efficiencies, the building was specified to use materials with a minimum of 10% recycled content and to having 20% of the materials manufactured locally. A construction waste management plan called for the recycling of at least 50% of all construction waste. This plan was also used for the demolition of the buildings that had previously existed on the site. Finally, all interior paints, sealants and carpets were specified to be low emitting products.


As the federal government's workplace solutions provider, the U.S. General Services Administration works to foster an effective, sustainable and transparent government for the American people. GSA’s expertise in government workplace solutions include:

  • Effective management of government assets including more than 9,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 215,000 vehicles in the federal fleet, and preservation of historic federal properties;
  • Leveraging the government’s buying power through responsible acquisition of products and services making up approximately 14 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars;
  • Providing innovative technology solutions to enhance government efficiency and increase citizen engagement; and,
  • Promoting responsible use of federal resources through development of governmentwide policies ranging from federal travel to property and management practices.

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