This shopping center is one of the most environmentally sustainable retail spaces in the United States. It recieved a LEED Platinum rating, the highest possible, by using recycled materials, renewable energy in the form of photovoltaics, and extremely efficient mechanical systems that utilize the heat of the earth.The Green Circle Shopping Center is a 23,000 square feet shopping center built to be as sustainable as possible.The design begins with the buildings location on the site. Instead of developing the site to the fullest and its most profitable potential, which would result in the demolition of over 40 trees, the building is sited in a way that will save most of the trees. This also provides a green space for the building tenants and customers to use for recreational purposes. The center also employs the latest strategies, technologies, and materials for sustainable design in order to make the building as efficient and environmentally cognizant as possible. In order to be as efficient as is physically possible, it uses a geothermal system for heating and cooling 100% of the spaces. This geothermal system uses 40 wells located underneath the parking lot, and when paired with both an ERV (Energy and Heat Recovery Ventilators) and heavily insulated walls and floors will provide a 50% improvement in efficiency and utility demands (in comparison to the typical shopping center VAV system specification). This increased efficiency means lower electrical bills for the tenants and less air pollution for the environment. Also, the electrical efficiency will be increased by the use of lighting controls, efficient fixtures, photovoltaic panels and extensive day lighting by the strategic placement of windows. Both the roof and the south faÃ§ade will have photovoltaic panels which produce several KW of electrical energy for the building to use. The majority of the interior spaces are capable of having almost no artificial lighting during daylight hours. All of the glass used for day lighting is efficient and clear as the technology of today will allow. In order to save the local water ecology and preserve water, almost 100% of the rain that falls on the site will either be treated naturally before being released or reused inside the building. There is a large intensive green roof with indigenous vegetation and an iconic tree, the flowering dogwood. This green roof helps slow the water down and reduces water run off. Also, by collecting all of the remaining rainwater that falls on the roof and placing it into a cistern for irrigation and toilet flushing, the center will save 70% of its water on a yearly basis, or 3.5 million gallons of water. Finally, the remaining water that falls on the parking lots percolates naturally into the earth through pervious concrete and then be treated naturally through bioswales. All of the materials used for the project are either locally sourced or contain a portion of recycled content or reclaimed or all of the aforementioned. The steel frame, concrete floors, aluminum windows, and composite siding will all have a high content of recycled material content. Also, there are tenant finish guidelines that stress the importance of sustainable design to the tenants and require the implementation of green housekeeping procedures. Finally, on top of the sustainable strategies, technologies, and materials, the center's most ambitious goal is public education. Their is a roof top deck that the public can walk on and interact with the green roof and photovoltaic panels. Inside there is a visitation center which has literature, informative signs, and diagrams which help the public understand the goals of the center and why sustainable design is important to our environment's future and future generations.