Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beaver water district earns LEED status for new administrative center's energy efficiency

Beaver Water District Receives LEED® Gold
                (Lowell, AR) -- The Beaver Water District announced today that its new Administration Center, located at 301 N. Primrose Road in Lowell, has been awarded LEED® Gold established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.
Beaver Water District achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water, and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.    
                “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of our efforts to build in a responsible manner that is sensitive to the environment and our use of natural resources,” said David Short of Bentonville, President of the District’s Board of Directors. “The team that worked on this project did an outstanding job and the District and our customers in Northwest Arkansas will reap the benefits of this effort for years to come.”
The District built the new center to increase office space and provide public access without compromising treatment plant security, according to Alan D. Fortenberry P.E., CEO of the District.
                “Our design focused on maximum energy savings with an eye to the future. The challenge was to build the center using resources to their greatest benefit while keeping waste to a bare minimum,” Fortenberry said.
                To tackle this goal, a series of meetings -- referred to as design charrettes -- were held. These meetings involved District staff, members of the architectural design team led by McGoodwin Williams & Yates of Fayetteville, and LEED consultants Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects of Little Rock.
                Functionality is a key component of every aspect of the Administration Center, from the infiltration basins, which help clean and filter stormwater runoff from parking lots, to the reuse of waste process water in the water feature, which resembles a rippling creek that might be found in nature in the Ozarks. The water feature creates an attractive setting for the front entry to the center.
                The Administration Center is situated on a 10-acre site with only a 14,000-square-foot building footprint, which maximizes open space. The “cool” roof reflects light and controls heat. At night, the site lighting chosen for the facility reduces light pollution.
                Long north/south walls take advantage of daylight, which results in lower lighting costs for the building. Motion sensors also are employed throughout the building in lighting controls. Water efficient landscape design incorporates native plantings that are more likely to thrive in this climate in both wet and dry conditions. Native plants also are good at “uptake” when it comes to pollutants. Geothermal heating and cooling uses 37, 300-foot deep wells on site to provide efficient heating and cooling that also results in low energy use.
                In every instance that was feasible, regional materials manufactured within a 500-mile radius were used in the building’s construction, thus reducing fuel consumption for freight. Many of the components of the center -- from toilet partitions, cabinets and countertops, to concrete, carpet, and fabrics -- contain recycled content. Pervious pavement allows rain water and runoff to seep back into the ground. The District anticipates a savings of 150,000 gallons per year for drip irrigation with use of recycle water. In addition, a 50% reduction of potable water use is anticipated with low flush toilets, automatic faucets, and waterless urinals.
                “Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. “The Beaver Water District’s project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”
Beaver Water District supplies drinking water to more than 250,000 people and industries in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and surrounding areas. These cities then resell the water to surrounding towns and communities. The District’s mission is to serve our customers in the Benton and Washington County area by providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all federal and state regulatory requirements in such quantities as meets their demands and is economically priced consistent with our quality standards. For more information, visit

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