Charlottesville's New Downtown Transit Station Awarded Prestigious LEED Gold Environmental Certification
"By designing and constructing the Downtown Transit Station to LEED standards, the City of Charlottesville has shown a strong commitment to the goals of conserving energy and environmental protection" Said Kristel Riddervold, City Environmental Administrator.
As part of the East End Downtown Mall Improvement Project, the DTS serves as a new transit transfer facility, and is located on Water Street in the vicinity of 7th Street.
The LEED certification process is based on a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. These buildings emphasize modern and innovative strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and environmentally friendly construction techniques.
Green Features of the Downtown Transit Station
For a building to become successfully certified under the LEED program, it must employ a variety of sustainable approaches during planning and design, site preparation, and construction. First, specific prerequisites must be met for every green building, including the storage and collection of recyclables, environmental tobacco smoke control, erosion and sediment control, and CFC reduction in HVAC equipment, among others. Other aspects are incorporated into the project based upon the discretion of the designers, giving every green building its own individual sense of identity. These rating criteria fall under six categories including:
- Sustainable sites;
- Water Efficiency;
- Energy & Atmosphere;
- Materials & Resources;
- Indoor Environmental Quality; and
- Innovation & Design Processes.
A LEED Scorecard is kept recording the green characteristics of the building to determine its level of certification. For the LEED Scorecard of Charlottesville's Transit Station, please click here.
Some of the sustainable aspects of the Transit Station include the use of locally produced building materials, which reduces transportation needs and the associated energy consumption, and an ultra-efficient geothermal heating and cooling system which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60%. The building also utilizes recycled content materials, which reduce environmental impacts that result from the extraction and processing of virgin materials. Daylighting measures were also taken by providing line-of-sight views available to building occupants from all interior occupied areas, allowing them to have a connection between indoor spaces and the outdoors. Low-emitting materials, including low VOC adhesives, sealants, paints and carpets also help to reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that may be harmful to occupants. Energy and water saving features will result in the Transit Station consuming an estimated 40% less water and 30% less electricity than a conventional building. Additional information detailing the building's green features can be found here.
For more information or questions regarding the sustainable elements of Charlottesville's new Transit Station, please E-mail.