Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

LEED-EB Certification

LEED logo

In 2006, we qualified for the LEED-EB Gold rating, the second highest rating possible, with 50 points.

The founders of Vernier Software & Technology came to Oregon partly because of the state’s early leadership on issues related to the environment. This included the first bottle recycling bill, progressive land-use laws, urban-growth boundaries, and the public beach bill. We have always felt strongly about the need for recycling, and saving energy and water.

In 2004, we needed to put a new roof on the Vernier building. At the same time, we wanted to do a voluntary seismic upgrade to make the building safer in case of an earthquake. As part of the remodeling planning, we got involved with the LEED-EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Existing Building) program.

We found that our existing practices qualified us for many LEED points and we made improvements and changed policies to earn additional points. We were able to qualify for the LEED-EB Gold rating, the second highest rating possible, with 50 points.

Here is a summary of things we did to qualify for the LEED-EB program. Some improvements we made were LEED requirements, but had no point value.

Requirement Points
Controlling erosion & sedimentation during construction  
Developing a “green” plan for site and building exterior management 1
Having public transportation located nearby 1
Providing bike storage and a changing room for bikersBike room 1
Providing parking spaces for hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles 1
Providing parking spaces for car pools 1
Keeping part of our property pervious to water (25% of property not paved) 1
Putting a white roof on the building (heat island reductions)White Roof for heat reduction 1
Installing low-flow toilets  
No discharge into streams during construction  
Documenting water-use reduction (by 20%) 2
Documenting that we are not using CFC-based refrigerants in HVAC (ozone reduction)  
Documenting that we have low energy use in heating and cooling for a building this size (Energy Star rating of 86) 6
Purchasing Green Power (in our case, 30% of our energy from wind generators) 2
Sending a person to a class on how to properly maintain building systems 1
Developing “Best Practices” for maintaining building systems in good condition 1
Documenting reduced emissions from the building’s HVAC systems after changes 1
Documenting reduced costs for the building’s maintenance after changes 1
Doing a waste stream audit to prove we really do recycle appropriatelyWaste stream audit  
Providing a recycling center with bins available for almost everything  
Establishing policies on purchasing green products (paper, wood, etc.) 5
Establishing policies for improving indoor air quality (low-VOC paints, etc.) 2
Adopting green cleaning materials and policies for janitorial staff 3
Recycling more than 50% of our waste stream 3
Use only reduced mercury fluorescent lamps 1
Documenting that the building has good indoor air quality  
Establishing a “no smoking” policy on all company property  
Removing or encapsulating all asbestos  
Removing all PCBs  
Documenting that a sufficient amount of fresh air is brought into the building 1
Using extra-fine air filters (MERV 13) in the HVAC system 1
Documenting that the HVAC system can maintain the building at comfortable conditions 1
Setting up a system to monitor the temperature and humidity in parts of the building and warn us if the readings are outside of a specified rangeMonitoring temperature and humidity 1
Documenting that 45% of the employees have a window view 1
Installing walk-off mats at all doors 1
Isolating the janitor’s closet with its own exhaust fan (indoor air-pollution reduction) 1
Establishing a low environmental impact cleaning policy 1
Establishing a low environmental impact pest-control policy 2
Purchasing and using vacuum cleaners that capture small particles and are not too noisy 1
Agreeing to post information on our website and inform visitors about the LEED program 1
Innovation point for dual-flush toilets in women’s rest roomsDual-flush toilets 1
Innovation point for our aggressive recycling program (75% diverted to recycling) 1
Having our project accredited by a LEED professional 1

There are several other related actions that we have taken that were not directly involved in the LEED-EB certification:

Solar panelsFront Solar panels
We installed 128 photovoltaic panels on our roof, capable of producing over 17,000 watts of electricity.
Learn more »
Transit passes
We have free transit passes for all full-time employees. We have done this for since 1998.
Zipcar
We have a parking place for three Zipcars (a shared car, which you sign up for on the internet) in our parking lot. We let each employee use it for two hours a month if they carpool, take public transit, walk, or bike to work. The idea is that an employee might use the Zipcar for necessary errands at lunch.
Skylights
We installed three new skylights to improve ambient lighting in the building.

We are convinced that these actions are a good investment for the company, even though some of them are expensive. We gain some respect from many of our science-teacher customers. Many of our employees take pride in our company’s environmentally friendly actions.

Many of the LEED-EB points have a goal of improving the employee’s work environment, and they also appreciate that. We have set a good example for other local companies. Over time, we will save money on energy and water use. We feel we are doing our part to help preserve the environment.

Learn more about Vernier and the environment »

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