Town of La Plata's LEED Certified Building

What does LEED stand for?

  • LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

 

What is LEED Certification?

  • LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification systemproviding third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts
  • Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions

 

What requirements need to be met for LEED Certification?

 

The design requirements are listed under six categories out of a total of 69 points:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation and Design Process

What categories of buildings have rating systems?

  • New Construction and Major Renovations, Core & Shell Development, Schools,  Retail New Construction(planned 2010), Commercial Interiors, Retail Interiors (planned 2010), Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, Neighborhood Development, and Homes


Is there a LEED requirement met by the Town Hall that looks at the sustainability of how building employees get to and from work?

 

Yes!  The VanGo lines located with 1/4 mile of Town Hall count as an Alternative Transportation credit.  If there was a public rail line located with in 1/2 mile of the building, this would count as well.

 

The bike racks and showers in the building also count towards green credit and encourage employees to walk, run, or ride bikes to work. 

 

Is there a recycling program at Town Hall?

 

Yes, there is.  There are accommodations for paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastic, light bulbs, batteries, and metals with a box at each desk, kitchen, and work area for disposal.  There are regular containers (24 x 18 x 14) dispersed throughout the building for proper disposal. 


Recycling is picked up once a week. 


Is it true that the closer I live to work, the happier I will be?

 

While it is hard to prove the answer to those questions, the employees of the Town of La Plata do enjoy their close commute, not only allowing them more time with friends and family, but allow them to focus on bringing you and your family a happy and healthy community. 


What sort of landscaping considerations have been taken into account to make Town Hall more green?

 

The landscaping considerations that aide in maintaining natural resources and are part of the LEED requirements include:

  • 50.7% restoration of plant life after building construction
  • Rainwater absorption areas that also act as natural irrigation systems and the park space for the Concert on the Lawn Series
  • Drought-tolerant and native plants
  • A tree canopy restoration and
  • A rainwater capturing system

 

What are some of the native and drought tolerant plants and trees?

 

Some of the native and drought tolerant plants plants include

  • Coneflower
  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Bee Palm

 

The native trees and plants located on the perennial border include

  • Black chokecherry
  • Viburnums
  • Spireas
  • Cedars

 

Is there really rain water collection and what is it?

  • Yes!  Up to 10,000 gallons of water is stored on site for any watering purpose on the property
  • The cistern collects water from the top of the roof and directs it into an underground storage tank


How do building materials help a building be more "green" and what do they have to do with being LEED certified?

 

Great question!  In order for buildings to be more sustainable, building materials need to be recyclable, contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), have some post-consumer recycled or post-industrial recycled content or come from the local region to reduce the amount of harmful chemicals we have in the air.  The LEED credit requires that at 10% of the total value of materials (post-consumer plus 1/2 of the post-industrial) meet this requirement. 

 

Don't leave me in suspense!  What materials did Town Hall use?


Product Name

Vendor

% Post Consumer

%Post Industrial

Utility Piping

Earnshaw

 

20%

Landscaping

Eds

20%

 

Rebar

Free State Steel

25%

 

Subbase for Concrete

Aggregate Industries

100%

 

Misc. Metals & Structural Steel

Capital Welding

25%

 

Caulking

Seal Caulking

10%

 

Glass

Tri County

15%

 

GWB

RH Evans

75%

10%

Metal Studs

RH Evans

25%

 

Insulation

RH Evans

50%

50%

Ceiling Grid

RH Evans

25%

 

Ceiling Tile

RH Evans

17%

12%

Porcelain Tile

Allen Scot

 

8%

Painting

Pierce

10%

 

Bike Rack

East Jordan Iron

25%

 

Elevator

Schindler

10%

 

Plumbing

Davis

10%

 


How portion of materials are locally made and how far away do the materials come from?

 

Twenty percent of the total value of materials and products were manufactured regionally within 500 miles of La Platas Town Hall.  Of the total locally made products, 50% of them were extracted regionally (10% of materials by cost).  Of these, the average distance between Town Hall and manufacturer was 75 miles (with the closest coming from our site and the furthest 250 miles.  The distance between Town Hall and the extraction site was 185 miles with the closest being on-site and the furthest 400 miles.


Which companies and what materials did the Town of La Plata buy locally?

 

See chart below for materials, companies, and distances.


Material

Company

Distance between project and manufacturer

Between project & extraction

Bank Run Import

Stinnets Gravel

15

15

Paving

Aggregate Industries

5

5

Mulch

Facchina Construction

0

0

Site Concrete

Aggregate Industries

5

5

Concrete

Aggregate Industries

5

5

Masonry

Belair Road Supply

10

250

Roof Lumber

Chopp Lumber

15

250

Misc Carpentry

Chopp Lumber

15

250

Millwork and Carpentry

K&S Millwork

15

250

Shingles

Area Roofing

250

250

Doors, Frames, Hardware

TLG

10

350

Glass

Tri County

25

400

GWB

RH Evans

250

250

Ceiling Grid

USG

250

250

Ceiling Tile

USG

250

250

Average

 

75

185


What is day lighting?

 

Daylighting is using natural sunlight to illuminate rooms, instead of light bulbs.  Town Hall met the LEED requirement that states a minimum day light factor of 2% in 75% of all space occupied for critical visual tasks.

 

What is indoor air quality?

 

"Indoor air quality refers to the quality of the air and environment inside buildings, based on pollutant concentrations and conditions that can affect the health, comfort and performance of occupants -- including temperature, relative humidity, light, sound and other factors.  Good IAQ is an essential component of any building, especially a green building.

Creating a better indoor environment can help building owners, managers, occupants, architects and builders to minimize or eliminate the negative health effects, liability, bad publicity, and costly renovations and repairs often associated with IAQ problems.  Improving IAQ involves designing, constructing, commissioning, operating, and maintaining buildings in ways that reduce pollution sources and remove indoor pollutants while ensuring that fresh air is continually supplied and properly circulated.  (Green Indoor Environments, EPA website)

 

What did Town Hall do to improve Indoor Air Quality?

 

LEED IAQ credit was granted for both the construction process and the materials chosen to be put into the building.  This helps to ensure that not only the construction workers live happier and healthier but that once the building is put together, occupants also are privy to the benefits of a clean environment.  The specifics of the project were:

 

Construction:

  • All finishing materials were of low toxicity
  • Ventilation systems were used during the installation of any VOC materials
  • Green cleaning products were used
  • Potential contaminants were removed from the building on a daily basis
  • Filters, fans, and coils were used to clean air during the project
  • The construction was scheduled so that VOCs were not absorbed by porous materials (i.e. Painting and carpeting were installed prior to the installation of ceiling tiles to minimize the possibility of absorption

 

Sealants and Adhesives

  • Sealants and adhesives were used that had little to no VOCs contained in them


Is it true that plants can help to improve Indoor Air Quality?

 

Yes, it is.  See this article from the Mother Nature Network for more information.


Official Website of the Town of La Plata, Maryland