Despite a declining interest in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, a convention center in Vancouver, an engine manufacturing plant in Michigan and an airport terminal in California are all claiming firsts in their respective industries for LEED certification.
The Oakland International Airport (OAK) claims Terminal 2 is the first airport passenger terminal in the U.S. to be awarded LEED silver certification.
The expansion and renovation of OAK’s Terminal 2, completed in 2007, included energy-efficiency measures that exceed California energy standards by 25 percent and a reduction in carbon emissions by about 211 tons per year, and water-conservation measures that reduced water use by 24 percent compared to similar buildings.
The project also diverted more than 80 percent of its construction waste from landfills by either recycling or reusing materials. The building also features a stormwater treatment system that acts as a natural filtering system that removes pollutants before the water reaches the San Francisco Bay, and a “Green Housekeeping” program. The building made use of environmentally-friendly materials including paint, carpet, glue, cabinetry and plywood products that emit few or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
In Canada, the Vancouver Convention Centre West (VCC) has been awarded LEED Canada Platinum certification, claimed as the world’s first convention center project to achieve the program’s highest rating, reports Environmental Protection.
The centerpiece of the project is its six-acre living roof, touted as Canada’s largest and the biggest non-industrial living roof in North America, packed with 400,000 native plants and grasses. In addition to the green space, the green roof offers several benefits including as an insulator. It also contributes to the building’s stormwater system and integrates with the waterfront landscape ecosystem.
The project also incorporated local materials, energy-efficient fixtures, advanced management systems, natural daylighting and ventilation. The building includes a heat pump system that leverages the constant temperature of the adjacent seawater and on-site water treatment and desalinization systems that are expected to reduce potable water use by 60 to 70 percent compared to typical convention centers, according to the article. The structure also includes a restored marine habitat that is part of the building’s foundation.
In the automotive arena, Chrysler Group’s new facility in Trenton, Michigan, South Engine Plant, has received LEED Gold certification, reports AZo Cleantech. The automaker claims it is the only engine manufacturing plant to receive this award in the world and one among four auto manufacturing facilities to achieve LEED certification.
The Trenton South facility, which is constructed on a brownfield site, has helped Chryler reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by more than 12,000 metric tons, cut energy costs by $1.25 million, and save 1.5 million gallons of water annually.
AZo Cleantech also reports the project used 44 percent recycled materials, and more than 90 percent or about 6,750 tons of construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled. The project also sourced more than 80 percent of the building materials from regional sources.