BALTIMORE, July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercy Ridge Retirement Community, a leader in environmentally responsible senior living, is proud to celebrate its 10th anniversary with the announcement that it has earned a LEED® for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance™ Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) and is the first and only existing retirement community in the nation to achieve LEED Silver status.
Residents inspired the environmentally conscious initiative, as many felt responsible to conserve and contribute to the well being of the environment. To achieve this goal, Mercy Ridge partnered with CQI Associates, LLC, a Columbia, Maryland-based energy and environmental management-consulting firm, to assess, plan and implement the necessary changes in preparation for the USGBC LEED certification review.
"We were delighted to partner with Mercy Ridge to help garner LEED Silver Certification establishing the facility as one of the preeminent retirement communities in the nation," said Richard Anderson, principal of CQI Associates. "As energy and environmental management consultants, our goal was to provide Mercy Ridge with a higher level of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, while also enabling the residents of Mercy Ridge to thrive in an environmentally-friendly lifestyle."
Professionally managed by CRSA/LCS Management, LLC and a joint venture of Mercy Health Services and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, Mercy Ridge is located in one of Baltimore's premier neighborhoods, and combines the charm of the country with the convenience of an urban lifestyle. The community features a 32-acre campus with gorgeous private apartment residences where residents enjoy a wealth of first-class amenities and personalized services.
Achieving LEED Silver
CQI Associates completed an initial energy assessment of the multi-use, multi-level Mercy Ridge complex in 2008, then provided targeted recommendations for improving energy efficiency and working toward LEED certification. Project highlights to obtain a LEED Silver certification include:
- A recycling program, with the resident community's involvement, helping to conserve natural resources.
- A green cleaning program in which all products used to maintain and enhance the facilities are organic based, reducing the impact on the environment.
- Upgraded cleaning equipment featuring HEPA filters, critical to preventing the spread of infections through airborne bacterial and viral organisms.
- Installation of Energy Star lighting throughout the facility's many buildings and common areas, saving energy cost and consumption immediately.
- Organic fertilizers and pesticides to maintain the campus exterior and storm water management.
Additionally, the extensive grounds of the Mercy Ridge complex are now groomed using high efficiency tractors and eco-friendly landscaping materials.
"I am thrilled that after two years of hard work to install a multitude of changes to our facilities, Mercy Ridge has received this important recognition," said Mercy Ridge Director of Facilities Gary Pfeifer. "Together with CQI we were able to help establish the first existing retirement community in the nation to contribute to the sustainability and the greening of our senior communities."
Both companies worked closely together to implement the recommendations and complete the certification process. The initial investment in the project's green and sustainable technologies, strategies, and design will result in an estimated savings of more than $40,000 in the first year.
Conservation and Recycling Began with the Great Depression
The commitment of the Mercy Ridge residential community was integral in making the LEED certification process a success. The staff utilized input and direction from residents and incorporated it into various facility-wide improvements including the recycling program. Many of the residents are not strangers to the ideas of conservation and recycling and cited lessons learned from the Great Depression and World War II.
"I was a Great Depression baby and served in World War II. Back then we didn't have and couldn't afford much, and from that I learned that we have to preserve what we've got," said six-year Mercy Ridge resident and retired schoolteacher, Bob Gifford. "We're not making any more coal or oil, and if we aren't careful to recycle and save energy where we can, we will squander our birthright. I have grandchildren and I want to see that they live in a world as good as the one I have enjoyed."
Trixie Nordberg, a Mercy Ridge resident and chairperson on the environment and landscaping committee added, "I have always been very interested in the environment and am utterly for saving our resources. As much as we can do on our scale, it should be done."
The overall consensus of the residents is that the improvements to Mercy Ridge contribute to the quality of the environment for future generations to enjoy, and as an added bonus, many of the programs implemented in the LEED certification process also better their own quality of life. They are proud of what they have accomplished and hope to continue making strides towards increased LEED certification status.
About Mercy Ridge Retirement Community
Mercy Ridge Retirement Community is situated on 32 acres in the heart of one of Baltimore's premier neighborhoods. Located in Timonium, Maryland, it combines the beauty of country living with the convenience of an urban address. The community is professionally managed by CRSA/LCS Management LLC, and is a joint venture of Mercy Health Services and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore. To learn more about Mercy Ridge please visit www.mercyridge.com.
About CQI Associates, LLC
CQI Associates, LLC is a leader in energy and environmental consulting. The firm offers services that allow clients to increase profitability by minimizing operating costs. From small businesses to national accounts such as Northrop Grumman, Fuji, and AutoNation, CQI Associates provides custom-tailored services to suit each company's unique needs. To learn more about CQI Associates, please visit www.cqiassociates.com or call (410) 740-0667.
SOURCE CQI Associates, LLC