Smith Aquatic Center

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Charlottesville’s Smith Aquatic Center Awarded Prestigious LEED Platinum Environmental Certification

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has recognized Smith Aquatic Center with its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation at the Platinum level.LEED Logo

The LEED Green Building Rating System™ is a nationally accepted benchmark for evaluating sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere efficiency, material and resource selection and indoor environmental quality. There are four levels of LEED Certification – Certified, Silver, Gold, and the highest rating, Platinum.

“Overall, buildings in the U.S. account for nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. By designing and constructing our Smith Aquatic Center to LEED standards, the City and its project team have demonstrated a strong commitment to the City Council’s long-term vision of conserving energy and promoting environmentally sustainable building practices,” said Mike Mollica, the City’s Capital Projects Coordinator and aquatic center project manager.

Through strategic design, the Smith Aquatic Center achieved LEED Platinum by reducing energy consumption, conserving water, and preventing material waste during construction.

· 99% of all construction waste was diverted from landfills.
· High efficiency glazed windows are used throughout the center to provide daylight to 98% of the occupied spaces.
· A rooftop solar thermal system provides domestic hot water, and automatic faucets and low-flow fixtures reduce water consumption up to 64%.
· The ultra-violet and CO2 pool water treatment system improves air quality by reducing chemicals used for pool maintenance.
· 31% of all building materials were extracted or manufactured within a 500 mile radius, and were carefully selected for their recycled material content and to promote a healthy indoor atmosphere.

Sustainable design also significantly reduces the City’s overall building operational costs, particularly with the new geothermal heat pump system. This system’s energy is generated by the earth’s natural cycle of heating and cooling, reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Pairing geothermal pumps with a high performing mechanical system adds additional savings to heating and cooling at this facility. Initial capital costs are projected to be recovered in approximately seven years. Heating and cooling costs are reduced by approximately 58% each year.

“The Smith Aquatic Center’s LEED Platinum certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and the Smith Aquatic Center serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.”

For more information about USGBC and LEED® Green Building Rating System™, visit

Project Architect: Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype
General Contractor: Charlottesville Public Works/Facilities Development Division
Construction Manager: Barton Malow
Owner: City of Charlottesville

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