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The Surrey School District has struck gold.After a comprehensive accreditation process established by the Canada Green Buildings Council, the Surrey School District Education Centre has achieved LEED Gold Certification.The flagship building was awarded Gold status by the council this week. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.There are four performance levels: certified, silver, gold and platinum. Completed in January 2011, the four-storey, $30 million building is 11,611 square metres in size and houses several district departments that were previously scattered around the city in outdated facilities, portables and rental properties. It’s also home to Surrey Connect, the district’s distributed learning school.It was built without any financial assistance from the Ministry of Education using district-generated revenue.Environmental features include a geothermal heating and cooling system, solar roof panels, high-efficiency lighting, water-efficient landscaping and thermal glass windows and skylights that make the most of available natural light. It was also built using durable and sustainable materials and offers bicycle storage, on-site recycling and drinking fountains.The centre is expected to save the district about $1 million annually between energy savings and reduced lease and travel costs for the consolidated district departments.