Ada County, Idaho was recently awarded its first LEED-Gold certification
A recent redevelopment project moved the Assessor’s Office and Indigent Services Dept. into the Civic Plaza complex directly east of the Courthouse. This is the county’s sixth LEED certification for a commercial building project, and its first at the Gold level.
“Our commitment to sustainable construction results in significant taxpayer savings by building and operating functional, highly productive and energy efficient facilities,” says Ada County Board of Commissioners chairman Fred Tilman. “We adopted this commitment before the trend caught on in Idaho – our Courthouse facility was the first LEED-certified project in Idaho. We continue to prove it truly is cost-effective to build high-performance, environmentally responsible facilities.”
The LEED Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
It is a nationally recognized third-party review system used to identify building projects that are more energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and healthier for occupants and visitors. In 2003 Ada County enacted a resolution requiring new construction projects over 10,000 sq ft be built to LEED standards.
The LEED-specific features for the Assessor’s Office and Indigent Services Department office remodel projects include:
Construction waste management – Ada County recycled over 60% of the construction waste from the remodeling project.
Building design that minimizes energy consumption through the use of natural lighting and efficient ENERGYSTAR technology.
Using energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems.
Using non-toxic, odorless and/or renewable building materials.
Incorporating a stormwater management system that purifies water before it reaches the Boise River.
Incorporating a central recycling center.
Promoting and proximity to alternative transportation resources.
“Achieving a Gold-level LEED certification is only possible with a deliberate partnership between Ada County, the consultant and the contractor,” says Ada County operations director Dave Logan. “We are honored to have received this level of certification, and owe much of our accomplishment to a community that values the environment and supports responsible building practices.”
Steve Benner of Boise-based CSHQA said this project was an engineering design challenge since the two offices are sandwiched between a parking garage below and several levels of apartments above the office spaces.
“With a conventional design approach, mechanical equipment can be placed on the roof, but because of a parking garage and apartments located above the project we were very limited in our system selections and really had to get creative,” says Benner. “This integrated design process is a bit out of the norm, but everything fell into place and resulted in a highly efficient, productive facility,” he said.