Downtown Austin LEED Buildings

Established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute, LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.  LEED is shorthand for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Legacy On The Lake is a downtown Austin apartment building designed by EDI Architecture that has been awarded LEED® Certification.  They are the first residential multi-family building to do so.

How did they do it?  30% reduction of water use, 10% recycled material use, 43% of building materials sourced locally, 77% of construction waste recycled, use of low VOC interior finish materials, and 90% of interior spaces having access to daylight and views.

Several other items contributed to their LEED rating including:  electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle storage and changing rooms, and water efficient landscaping.  According to EDI, “Legacy on the Lake achieved LEED Certification despite having a tight construction budget.  Total upcharge to achieve certification was about 1 percent of the total construction hard costs.”

The LEED 2009 rating system is based on 100 possible base points plus an additional 6 points for Innovation in Design and 4 points for Regional Priority. There are four categories of rating:

* Certified – 40-49 points
* Silver – 50-59 points
* Gold – 60-79 points
* Platinum – 80 points and above

Other downtown buildings that have achieved a LEED rating:
1) Whole Foods (LEED Certified)
2) Austin City Hall (LEED Gold)

Of note, Gables Park Plaza is a candidate for LEED certification, the Austin W Hotel and Residences (aka. Block 21 Residences) is expected to be LEED Silver Austin’s first LEED Platinum building.  Also, the under-construction Federal Courthouse is being built to achieve a LEED Silver rating.


About Jude Galligan

Jude Galligan, REALTOR, Principal of TOWERS Realty and publisher of Downtown Austin Blog (aka. "DAB"), spends his time matching remarkable people with remarkable properties in Austin’s urban core. A resident owner in downtown Austin, Jude has served on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and the City of Austin Downtown Commission. Contact Jude.


  1. The Shore has a 1 star rating from Austin Green Building too. I have called to try and get it added to the website. It might interest readers to know that I heard LEED was in part based off of Austin’s Green Building program, as Austin’s program was groundbreaking and among the first of its kind.

  2. Thanks to Mike McGill for this link to other “Green” projects. Not all are LEED.

  3. The last I talked to the people from the W hotel they said they were shooting for Silver LEED ranking. Platinum proved too onerous and too many cuts.

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