Erie Vital Signs

Energy: Green Buildings in Erie County

Recent Performance

This trend is better or improving.

Erie County had been slowly adding LEED certified units for the last few years. But in early 2015, all 50 units in the Arneman Place Apartment Complex became LEED certified, increasing Erie’s numbers dramatically. And according to LEED records, another eight projects are currently in progress including projects by Erie Insurance, St. Vincent Health Center, Mercyhurst University, and the Palace Business Center.

The Basics

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built under specific environmental standards. This indicator shows the number of units (buildings, apartnements…) that qualify for LEED certification at one of its levels.

Why It's Important

A community that pays attention to green issues in its construction practices will be one that reduces environmental problems over the long term, improving the local quality of life.

The Details

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. And LEED certification can confer benefits and incentives such as tax rebates, increased asset value, decreased operating costs, and reduced environmental impact.

The Nitty-Gritty Details


According the USGBC certification guide, "the LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction -- Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum -- that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five green design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality." To Learn about what each project needs to become a LEED certified project, click here.

LEED projects Erie County with higher certification levels:

  • Erie Art Museum (2014): Gold
  • PNC Bank Branch – Erie (2007): Silver
  • PNC Bank Branch – Millcreek (2007): Silver
  • Tom Ridge Environmental Center (2010): Silver
  • Flagship City Apartments (2013): Silver


Units are listed on the LEED rolls as they receive certification. EVS updates this indicator annually.


Other Related Data

  • Leland, Read and Wittry, “Analyzing the Perceived Benefits of LEED-Certified and Energy Star–Certified Buildings in the Realm of Local Economic Development.” Economic Development Quarterly, November 2015 vol. 29 no. 4 363-375.

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