Commitment to Sustainability

For over 100 years the Wilder Foundation has helped to build sustainable families and sustainable communities through operating programs and services. The buildings we work and serve in should also contribute to a healthy and sustainable environment. With the design and construction of Wilder Center, we have connected our daily work with the environment that it is performed in.
Wilder Center is designed to model how we can successfully serve people today and also steward tomorrow's environment. Our commitment to sustainable design at Wilder Center is an extension of our mission to build sustainable families and communities.
Wilder is one of the first organizations in the country to link a health and human services mission to environmental sustainability, making Wilder Center a truly significant statement that we encourage others to follow.

Wilder Center and LEED

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.
LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. By adhering to LEED standards, Wilder creates and promotes a healthier work environment for employees and clients, while reducing operating costs through energy efficiency and implementing other practical innovations.

There are four levels of LEED certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Wilder Center is designed to meet Gold standards. This would not have been possible without the assistance of LEED accredited professionals, general contractor Duke Construction, and architectural firm Perkins + Will. The recently renovated Community Center for Aging is also seeking LEED certification.

Wilder Center Green Economics

There are numerous economic benefits from Wilder Center, helping Wilder put more funds towards program services.

Wilder Center Operating Savings

  • 45 percent reduction in energy costs, saving $40,000 per year
  • $6,200 savings in water use per year
  • 200 percent improvement in recycling
  • $60,000 reduction in remodeling costs per year from flexible open office environment
  • $2.5 million reduced construction costs by building a smaller building with an open office environment, saving $100,000 per year on operating costs.

Community Economic Benefits

  • Fewer car trips with easier public transportation access and bike friendly facility
  • Less energy used and less carbon emitted
  • Conservation of water
  • Reduced waste in landfills


Download the LEED fact sheet (pdf)

Download the Wilder Center LEED checklist (pdf)


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 Green Features


Wilder Center is designed to model how we can successfully serve people today and also steward tomorrow's environment. Our commitment to sustainable design at Wilder Center is an extension of our mission to build sustainable families and communities. Wilder Center expects to receive Gold certification under the federal Green Building Rating System called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Design and Innovation

Thanks to the involvement of many LEED Accredited Professionals in the design process, we've successfully reduced toxins through use of ultra-low mercury florescent bulbs, provided education and sustainable design, and use low emitting furniture. We also use green cleaning supplies and have an exemplary recycling program in place. The recycling program was simple to implement and have enabled us to double what we recycle.

Sustainable Site

Our intent was to find an appropriate location for the building, considering impact to the site and neighborhood. How did Wilder do this? Our building is located in a major metropolitan area close to neighborhood amenities and transit options. We also have employee bicycle storage lockers and showers, as well as preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles. Because we have a parking ramp instead of a large surface lot, we have a reduced heat island effect. Storm water runoff and light pollution levels are reduced on site.

Water Efficiency

At Wilder Center we reduce use of potable water and encourage innovative wastewater technologies by our extensive use of native plantings. Aerators are used on all faucets and all toilets incorporate low-flush and dual-flush technologies to reduce everyday consumption of water by 42 percent.

Energy and Atmosphere

Wilder Center uses 45 percent less energy than buildings designed to standard regulations by using highly efficient boilers, under-floor displacement ventilation, and daylight harvesting. The sophisticated building systems are regularly monitored to ensure they perform at peak efficiency. 50 percent of Wilder Center's power usage is from a renewable source, Xcel Energy's WindSource.

Materials and Resources

86 percent of our construction waste was diverted from landfills. 22 percent of the content from construction materials were made from recycled products. 66 percent were manufactured locally and of those 57 percent were harvested locally. 70 percent of the wood used at Wilder Center is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC).

Indoor Environment

Low-emitting paints, fabrics, and adhesives were used whenever possible. 80 percent of the building occupants enjoy direct access to natural light and 95 percent of occupied spaces have exterior views. Indoor air quality was carefully monitored during construction and prior to occupancy. Employees can control the amount of airflow into their individual spaces to their comfort level, even in an open workspace environment.