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Two days after a Red Lodge building project achieved a LEED Platinum rating, a building in Billings designed by the same architectural firm received a similar rating.

That rating was awarded to the Tracy Lofts at 2600 Montana Ave., designed by High Plains Architects.

The rating is from the U.S. Green Building Council, and platinum is the highest possible ranking. The USGBC uses different rating systems, and the loft project was certified under the 2008 version of the LEED for Homes.

The Red Lodge platinum was awarded to the Boys and Girls Club of Carbon County under the 2009 version of the new construction and major renovations category.

Nash Emrich, an architect with High Plains, said the Tracy Lofts, besides being a LEED Platinum building, is also a certified historic tax credit building. It is just across the railroad tracks from the Swift Building, another High Plains project that was both LEED Platinum and a historic tax credit building.

The Swift Building was the first in Montana with that distinction, and it remains rare, Emrich said.

The Tracy Lofts building features a rainwater collection system, with the water used for toilets and washing machines in the building. It also has a photovoltaic system on the roof and extensive use of recycled building materials.

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