For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Matt Kulhanek, Facilities Manager, 734.794.6000 x 43113 / email@example.com
ANN ARBOR’S MUNICIPAL CENTER EARNS GOLD LEED STATUS
ANN ARBOR, Mich., October 30, 2012— The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently awarded Gold status to the City of Ann Arbor’s Municipal Center at 301 E. Huron St.—including the new Justice Center, landscaped municipal plaza rain gardens, green roof promenade, and porous pavement in the parking lot. The internationally-recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold awards from the USGBC requires a construction project to achieve a minimum of 39 points for building and site design, construction, and operations. Ann Arbor’s Municipal Center obtained 44 LEED points.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, “LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.” Many of the Municipal Center’s building materials were obtained from regional and recycled-content materials. Construction debris was recycled on-site and certified sustainably-harvested wood was used throughout.
Ann Arbor’s Justice Center building, which houses the 15th District Court, Ann Arbor’s Safety Services Administration and Police, and Information Technology Services, was constructed with highly-efficient exterior walls. Over three inches of super-rated insulation were used to keep the cold and heat outside while maintaining comfortable interior temperatures. The thermal-sealed windows block the outdoor temperatures and allow for natural interior lighting. The imbedded ceramic window stripes serve as built-in blinds to soften incoming light. Many windows may be opened for natural air circulation. The highly-efficient Energy Star™ furnace and air conditioning systems are maintained via monitors to provide a comfortable thermal environment. Rooftop solar collectors supply domestic hot water and preheat the boiler water. Low-flow water fixtures are used throughout the building to reduce water waste.
Motion detectors adjust the lighting levels to match the building’s actual usage to save energy. Sensors also monitor light levels to reduce interior lighting when natural sunlight supplies additional illumination.
More than 40 percent of the Municipal Center site’s surface is covered with rain gardens or porous pavement. An open-grid pedestrian bridge allows rain water to enter directly into the largest rain garden. Nearly five inches of rain from a single storm can be captured on-site. Urban planners label a 4.75-inch heavy rainfall in S.E. Michigan as a “one percent annual chance event.” Many beautiful native plants and trees are used around the Municipal Center buildings. These hardy species thrive in typical Michigan weather conditions. During the growing season visitors may also enjoy the green roof on the second-story promenade (behind the flag poles on E. Huron). The green roof features more than 5,000, 12x24x4-inch vegetative trays, each planted with a variety of sedum plants, scattered with alium (wild onion) for color and height. The vegetative trays cover 10,318 square feet of the promenade’s total 18,000 square foot roof surface. A green roof can save up to 25 percent on heating and cooling costs by providing additional insulation, which helps maintain a constant temperature inside the building. Water evaporation from the plants during the summer keeps the building cooler, too.
Quinn Evans is the architectural firm for the Ann Arbor Municipal Center. The landscape architects were InSite Design Studio, Inc. with Conservation Design Forum. More details on the Municipal Center’s LEED components are available online at www.a2gov.org/LEED.
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