LSW Announces USGBC Silver Membership

July 29, 2022

As of April 2022, LSW Architects is a USGBC Silver Member. This membership provides leading edge resources for our staff and helps us lower costs for clients, all while advancing LSW’s continued commitment to sustainable design. In the following post, you’ll find some additional insight into how these benefits will manifest at the firm through our internal processes and project work. 

Accessing the USGBC Network

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is most well-known for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, which has helped lead the building industry in a more sustainable direction. This is well-aligned with the council’s broader mission to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated, specifically through the use of LEED. In this way, LEED has provided a framework for efficient, healthy, and resilient buildings that holistically approach sustainability in the built environment. Over time, the LEED rating system continues to adapt to a changing world without compromising on the well-being of people, a thriving economy, and sustainable building performance. It showcases a global network engaging in the responsibility to design a more sustainable future. 

Now as USGBC members, the LSW team is thrilled to be a part of this network.


Clark College's STEM building, designed by LSW, has a LEED Gold rating.

Educational Benefits for our Firm

Image above: Clark College's LEED Gold rated STEM Building

Timing around LSW’s USGBC membership is ideal, as the firm is hyper-focused on sustainability education and training as a means of prioritizing (and achieving) the short and long-term goals identified in our Sustainability Action Plan. Monthly sustainability trainings have promoted the strategies and resources available to achieve them while intentional conversations with our consultants have showcased the expertise of the entire team.

LSW’s membership with USGBC comes with the benefit of access to a wealth of educational tools and training, including a robust USGBC course catalog. We can engage with like-minded USGBC members in conversations that can help bolster and stimulate to our efforts to reduce negative environmental impacts while maximizing long term value for our clients. Importantly, this also gives us new confidence that the sustainability services we provide are in step with the ever-advancing green building industry. 


RiverWest is a LEED Platinum rated building cited along Vancouver's Waterfront

Benefits to our Clients

Image above: RiverWest has been awarded a LEED Platinum® rating by the US Green Building Council - a first in Vancouver for the Multifamily Midrise classification.

At LSW, we work hard to incorporate design strategies that minimize energy use and meet our sustainability goals while maximizing cost savings for our clients. We recognize that a resilient, prosperous future comes with an initial investment of time, energy and money, but we try to remain future-minded in communicating the value proposition of sustainable strategies.

Green building rating systems, like LEED, undisputedly deliver on these goals. Between 2015 and 2018, LEED-certified buildings saved just over 1.2 billion dollars in energy-use savings. Beyond energy, water, and maintenance cost-savings, researchers have started identifying connections between LEED certification, market rates, and increased tenant demand. A study by Cushman & Wakefield found that LEED-certified multifamily assets achieved 3.1% higher rents on average and stabilized occupancy. 

Registration and certification for the LEED rating system comes with marginal fees compared to the long-term return on investment. However, with our USGBC membership, we can provide clients with reduced registration fees and savings on the certification process up to $5,000. Once the commitment is made, we also have access to the materials needed to uniquely market our clients’ achievements. Rest assured, we will certainly be celebrating alongside them. 

Keeping up the Momentum 

Sustainability is an integral part of our design practice and we recognize that it has a significant impact on people, the community, and the environment. We are excited to continue to grow our portfolio of sustainable projects and push the needle on healthy spaces that thoughtfully integrate with the natural environment. As a firm, we are committed to bringing our focus on sustainability to new and existing relationships, in order to create and expand opportunities where we can have the greatest potential to reduce environmental impacts and positively influence the health of people and the planet. 

Noteworthy LEED-rated Projects by LSW

RiverWest – LEED Platinum