The Hall of Laureates has been awarded LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, the highest possible rating for leadership in energy efficiency and environmental design. Only a handful of buildings in the entire country on the National Register of Historic Places were designed in the 19th century and have earned the distinction of LEED Platinum certification, making this a model for salvaging historic treasures and transforming them into usable, sustainable, cutting-edge facilities.
To reach LEED Platinum , the building must meet standards in six different categories, including: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design. View the press release at this link.
Highlighted Green Features of the Hall of Laureates:
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- 90 of the highest efficiency solar panels available in the world were procured and placed on the roof in a way that cannot be seen, so they do not detract from the overall historic appearance of the building.
- 102 geothermal wells were drilled under the garden, each more than 200 feet deep, to efficiently heat and cool the building.
- An 8,000 gallon cistern collects storm-water run-off, which is used to irrigate the gardens and flush toilets; the water tank is located under the new east grand staircase.
- Recycled, regional materials were a major component of this renovation. 20 percent of construction and renovation materials came from within 500 miles of the project; this included harvesting matching stone from an abandoned railroad bridge because the original quarry is now a state park, as well as using recycled materials in the metal fence and repurposed granite in the curbing and planting circles.
- Bicycle storage and a shower space, as well as preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel efficient vehicles, are features of the building.
- High light reflectivity index concrete paving helps reduce heat gain of exposed surfaces and preserve energy.
- An interactive touchscreen in the garden level of the building will allow visitors to explore all of the building's green features more in depth, as well as show real-time information monitoring the building's energy use.
Additional Green Features by LEED Category:
One of the greenest choices the Foundation made was the initial decision to select an existing building for its headquarters. In addition, this site is a "brownfield" site, meaning contaminants such as lead paint and asbestos had been found there and had to be carefully removed. To promote decreased reliance on fossil-fuel emitting vehicles, the Hall features onsite bicycle storage, a shower room for cyclists, and preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. Replacing the large parking lot with lush public gardens helps to increase the green space downtown and reduces the city's "heat island" effect, which is also reduced by the exterior building materials chosen to reflect light rather than absorb it. Finally, the new gardens help reduce storm-water runoff downtown, which also alleviates pressure on local drains.
Especially as flooding has become a major problem locally and around the world, thoughtful civic design is critical. The 8,000-gallon cistern under the east staircase collects rainwater and uses it in its high-tech gray-water system to irrigate the gardens and flush the toilets. Installing low-flow and dual-flush plumbing fixtures saves 30,000 gallons of water per year. Over 16,000 gallons of collected rainwater will be used to flush these fixtures. In all, these initiatives will save over 77 percent of non-potable water compared to conventional systems.
Energy and Atmosphere
Numerous new energy-saving techniques will reduce the amount of energy used by the facility by 50 percent. High-functioning heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems use very little energy and use no CFC-based refrigerants, as they are harmful to the environment. 90 solar panels on the roof will supply 9 percent of the building's energy, and 102 geothermal wells dug deep underneath the gardens use the earth's thermal energy to heat and cool the building. The Foundation has also purchased green power credits to offset the energy consumption of the building.
Materials and Resources
Over 93 percent of the existing structural components were reused, such as walls, floors, columns, ceilings and the roof. Over 75 percent of non-structural building components are reused, such as walls, plaster, flooring, doors and ceilings. All construction waste was carefully sorted and sent to a recycling facility when possible, resulting in 84 percent of the demolition debris being recycled, which equates to over 1,400 tons diverted from the landfill. Local, regional and recycled materials were used whenever possible. Over 11 percent of the building materials used were from recycled material and over 20 percent of the building materials were from regional sources. Even the old parking lot was crushed up and reused on site. Nearly 67 percent of the wood used is FSC certified wood.
Indoor Environmental Quality
The Foundation followed several sets of standards regarding its HVAC systems and changed all filters prior to occupying the building to ensure good air quality, and a building flush was performed to flush out all possible air contaminants before guests or staff occupied the building. A state-of-the-art monitoring system provides feedback on the environment, as well as advanced thermostat and lighting controls. Large amounts of daylight and outdoor views provide sunlight to occupants.
Innovation in Environmental Design
The World Food Prize engaged numerous LEED-accredited professionals on its Hall of Laureates renovation from the architects to the interior designers, engineers, landscape architects and contractors, all of whom dedicated their expertise and countless hours of hard work to ensure that the Hall of Laureates could achieve every possible LEED credit in energy efficiency and resource conservation. Key to the project were architect RDG, contractor Neumann Brothers, Inc., landscape architect Hoerr Schaudt, and HR Green.