Blog Future Seeds is the first germplasm bank in the world to receive LEED Platinum certification

● The germplasm and seed bank, located at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT's office for the Americas in Palmira (Colombia) safeguards more than 66,000 varieties of cassava, beans and livestock forages from almost every country in the world.
● The building's energy use is highly sustainable and efficient, relying on solar panels and a roof canopy to repel solar radiation.

Palmira, Colombia, February 2023 - Future Seeds was inaugurated in 2022 to conserve and distribute genetic resources of three of the most important crops for human and animal food in the world, improving their conservation methods and allowing the public to learn about the importance of crop genetic diversity. Today, its building has received the LEED Platinum v4 Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) that distinguishes it as an environmentally smart and sustainable building.
The building, located at the Alliance's Palmira campus, is the first seed bank in the world to be LEED certified.

The seed bank has an external review for the management of crop collections, ensuring that it operates with the highest technical and scientific standards.

Future seeds' green building system contributes to creating a healthier and more sustainable environment for the region by improving indoor air quality and reducing pollution through energy efficiency, reduced water consumption and the use of environmentally friendly materials.

The building's outstanding features include the use of 100% recycled water from the rainwater harvesting system, air quality with a filtered air renewal system and a waste storage and separation room to recycle or reuse most of the elements during operation.

The building's architectural design is based on the climatic conditions of the environment, taking advantage of the available resources with the least environmental impact to obtaining the lowest possible energy consumption in the building. Similarly, 40% of the building's energy is supplied by solar panels located near the building. Furthermore, the building is designed to show a direct connection with nature, with more than 100 trees planted - either native or adapted to the region.

In its design process, Future Seeds implemented different sustainability strategies, and the building's performance was evaluated based on several criteria including location, water, energy materials and air quality. $17.2 million USD were invested in the construction of the building and the architectural design was undertaken by AEV architects.

This certification shows that Future Seeds is a state-of-the-art seed bank, forming one of the CGIAR's 11 international banks, strategically located in centers of crop diversity. These genetic resources are held in trust by countries under the rules of the FAO's International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

The seed bank also seeks to innovate to improve conservation methods and discover the hidden value of genetic resources, engaging the public to raise awareness of the vital role of crop diversity, and contributing to policy dialogue on the fair sharing of crop diversity.

"Future Seeds is not only a repository for some of the world's most important crops, it is also an innovation hub that trains scientists, and develops new ways to protect biodiversity for better diets, resilient incomes and a healthier environment," mentioned Joe Tohme, Director of the Alliance's 'Crops for Nutrition and Health' research area.

About LEED Certification

LEED certification was developed in 1993 by the US Green Building Council as a set of standards and requirements that certifies a building's high level of sustainability. The certification is based on scientific standards, rewarding the use of sustainable strategies in all building construction processes, ranging from the building's location, the efficiency of water and energy use, the selection of sustainable materials, and the provision of high indoor environmental quality.

Sylvia Pineda
Email: [email protected]

More information about Future Seeds' LEED certification can be found here: