ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -

A nursing home of the Florida's Department of Veterans' Affairs was recognized Wednesday as the first LEED-certified nursing home in Florida.

The U.S. Green Building Council certified the Clyde E. Lassen State Veterans’ Nursing Home in St. Augustine as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold building because it was built using national benchmarks for design, construction and operation of the building.

"We are very proud to provide our veterans with the best home care possible, and today marks one of the many ways we do that on a daily basis," said Mike Prendergast, executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs. "This facility shows the continued standard of excellence that we provide to honor the men and women who have served our nation."

The ceremony honored the design team, project managers, construction crew and staff for their vision to create the best living environment for the facility’s veteran residents and featured the fashioning of the LEED Gold award plaque to the building.

The nursing home, which opened in September 2010, is one of six state veterans' nursing homes and one assisted living facility that the state manages for Florida's veterans. The facility is 95,000 square feet and incorporates recycled materials and energy-efficient appliances and features to reduce energy consumption.

"Working with the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to create an environmentally friendly space for Florida’s distinguished veterans is one of our company’s proudest endeavors," said Doug Mitchell, who served as senior project manager for Skanska, the construction company for the project.