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CAT Operations Center Recognized for Green Design, Operation - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

CAT Operations Center Recognized for Green Design, Operation

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City of Charlottesville
Press Release

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, January 7, 2012 - The City of Charlottesville announced today that its Charlottesville Area Transit Operations Center has been awarded LEED® Gold as established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

The LEED green building certification program provides an independent, third-party verification of the design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions of green buildings. This nationally accepted benchmark measures a buildings level of performance in five key areas important to human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

According to USGBC, participation in this voluntary and technically rigorous LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility of the organization. Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. City leaders see this facility as part of a broader green vision for public transportation in Charlottesville by providing better transportation service and allowing CAT to further expand services in the future.

"We took our positive experience with pursuing LEED certification at the Downtown Transit Station back in 2008 and escalated that approach to tackle a complex consisting of 4 buildings on 6 acres with numerous industrial activities," said Scott Hendrix, City of Charlottesville Facilities Development project manager. "Being able to integrate water conservation, energy efficiency, and thoughtful material usage in this project was a rewarding experience that is serving the users of this space well."

The CAT Operations Center is one of around 20 transit-related developments in the world to earn this Gold level of recognition. Through strategic planning and design this high performance facility achieved LEED Gold through a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:

  • 35% energy reduction through use of geothermal heating and cooling system; natural ventilation, extensive day lighting, and efficient building envelope
  • Buses are washed with harvested rainwater from roofs
  • Water efficient landscaping with native and adaptive plants requires no irrigation
  • Waterless urinals, and low-flow toilets and fixtures save 17,500 gallons of water annually
  • 93% of all construction waste was diverted from landfills
  • Wall insulation used 100% recycled discarded blue jeans
  • Extensive use of regional materials and materials with recycled content

"Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. "The CAT Operations Center project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come."

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