America's Top Ten Greenest Buildings

From Almaden Tower to the Rocky Mountain Institute Boulder Office, these are the ten most eco-friendly buildings of 2008

by Liz Olson
Green

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With money-saving incentives on the rise, companies around the United States are joining a growing trend and making their buildings more environmentally friendly. Along with helping to reduce waste and emissions, green building has financial incentives for companies. Indeed, they can potentially save a significant amount of money on energy and water bills. The U.S. Green Building Council developed a points system called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, to rate buildings on their greenness. Depending on how environmentally friendly the design, businesses are awarded one of four ratings—certification, silver, gold, or platinum. Energy efficiency, water conservation, native plant use in landscaping, onsite gardens, recycling, use of natural light, among other factors contribute to a building's green ranking. Forbes.com lists the top ten buildings in America according to their U.S. Green Building Council green rating—all 10 have achieved platinum status.

Rank Building Owner Location
1. Almaden Tower Adobe Systems San Jose, Calif.
2. East & West Towers Adobe Systems San Jose, Calif.
3. Banner Bank Building The Christensen Corporation Boise, Idaho
4. California Department of Education Building Calif. Department of General Services Sacramento, Calif.
5. California Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters Thomas Properties Sacramento, Calif.
6. Lewis And Clark State Office Building Missouri Department of Natural Resources Jefferson City, Mo.
7. Perkins + Will Seattle Office Architectural firm Perkins + Will Seattle, Wash.
8. Phillip Merrill Environmental Center Chesapeake Bay Foundation Annapolis, Md.
9. Portland, Ore., National Guard Annex Portland Historic Rehabilitation Fund Portland, Ore.
10. Rocky Mountain Institute Boulder Office Rocky Mountain Institute Boulder, Co.
Source: Forbes.
Did you know?
The longest cave in the world is Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.

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