NEWS RELEASE Sept. 25, 2012
GRAND PRAIRIE – Grand Prairie earns LEED Silver Status for going green with one of its newest buildings. The city's Lake Park Operations and Fire Station #7 facility, 5610 Lake Ridge Parkway, is now LEED Silver for being designed and constructed applying the latest sustainable building practices for maximizing the return on investment while encouraging environmental stewardship in North Texas.
Strategies employed include:
- Harvesting rainwater for site irrigation by diverting rainfall from the roof planes to above ground cisterns that are powered by solar photovoltaic panels.
- Tapping geothermal energy by a series of 49 deep wells to off-set cooling and heating costs by utilizing the Earth’s near constant crust temperature to act as a heat source in the winter and a heat sink in the summer.
- Sourcing of materials locally to reduce transportation impacts on the environment and help support the local economy.
- Roof mounted solar panels collect the sun’s energy and heat water for domestic use in sinks, showers and laundry.
- Natural light floods the building to reduce the dependence on electric lighting and provide exterior views for the building occupants. This saves electricity and studies indicate lower rates of worker absenteeism.
- Large roof overhangs reduce glare on the occupants and their workspaces while also reducing the heat load on the building and allowing for a reduction in size of cooling units. This lowers the initial cost of equipment and its energy consumption through the life cycle.
- Interior finish materials are manufactured with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to minimize off-gassing of components and contamination of the interior environment.
- Building areas subject to chemical fumes such as janitorial closets are placed under negative pressure and exhausted to the exterior for improved air quality throughout the buildings.
- Use of construction materials with quantified pre and post consumer recycled content reduces the impact on natural resources and retasks embodied energy used to produce the original product.
- Buildings were clustered on site to reduce the amount of paving required and infrastructure that connects them.
- Paving provided has high solar reflective index to reduce the heat island effect. The concrete reflects the sun’s energy away from the campus reducing the microclimatic temperature.
- 75 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills to recycling facilities.
- Lighting was designed to illuminate the campus without trespassing beyond the property line and contributing to light pollution, it is Dark Sky compliant.
- Native and adapted plant species that are drought tolerant reduce the demand on potable water supply.
- Domestic water consumption has been reduced by 30 percent by utilizing low-flow plumbing fixtures.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000 and is redefining how we think about the places we live, work and learn. The internationally recognized mark of excellence provides building owners and operations with a framework for implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.