Rail Splitter O&M Facility Earns LEED Silver
Farnsworth Group provided surveying, transportation engineering, architecture, site design MEP engineering, LEED and commissioning services for the 100 MW Rail Splitter Wind Farm.
The wind farm will consist of 67 turbines, 11 miles of transmission line, and 17 miles of County and Township roadway improvements. Farnsworth Group also provided site and facility design services including architecture, interior design and MEP for the 4,900 SF Operations and Maintenance facility located in Hopedale, IL.
This building is the first U.S. Green Building Council LEED certified building for Horizon. In addition to gaining a LEED Silver rating from the USGBC, Farnsworth Group was selected as a Green Building of America award winner and will be featured in the 2010 Midwest Green Edition of Real Estate and Construction Review.
The building is located at the corner of a major intersection with the exterior of the building designed to match the existing urban environment. The facility includes storage areas for turbine parts and tools, crew room, break room and offices for Horizon operations and the turbine maintenance staff. Site improvements include parking, circulation, accessibility, and streetscape-type amenities. Morton Buildings, Inc. provided the building shell and general contracting.
Green features include:
§ The building was located in Hopedale on Main Street instead of prime farmland to make use of existing infrastructure, boost local economy, minimize sprawl, and protect natural areas used for crops, plants, and wildlife. The site was occupied by an existing building which was a former grocery store. Due to the age and location of the existing building, it was decided to remove the building.
§ During demolition of the existing building and site, 312 tons of demolition materials were removed from the site. Of that material, 173.7 tons or 55% were diverted from the landfill and recycled.
§ The framing system of the building is wood, which is a rapidly renewable resource when properly managed. The Morton Building structure uses the exterior walls as the structural bearing walls allowing the interior layout to change if needed in the future.
§ Other interesting facts pertaining to the design to note when walking around the site include:
§ The use of concrete paving instead of asphalt contributes to a reduction in heat island effect. The natural color of concrete allows for increased light reflectance.
§ The landscaping materials were selected to eliminate the use of potable water for irrigation thereby reducing the overall amount of water usage.
§ Special parking spaces close to the building were provided for fuel efficient and carpool vehicles. In addition, the number of parking spaces was kept to the required minimum to encourage carpooling and/or alternate forms of transportation.
§ The color of the roof was selected due to its increased reflectance.
§ The exterior light fixtures were selected to keep the light emitted from the fixtures focused in a select area and reduce spillage/pollution beyond the property boundary.
§ The building shell (amount of insulation, wood construction, materials used) and mechanical systems contribute to 14% greater energy efficiency than a baseline case for a building of this type.
§ Over 90% of the office spaces have natural day lighting and views to the exterior. Studies have shown that natural daylight and views contribute to overall comfort and greater productivity of occupants.
§ The concrete floors have a color mixed into the material to allow ease of clean ability and enhanced durability.
§ 13.7% of the total materials selected and used for the building have some type of recycled content.
§ 24.2% of the total materials selected and used for the building were either extracted or manufactured less than 500 miles from the construction site.
§ The plumbing fixtures and plumbing system was designed to reduce the amount of potable water used by almost 50% from a baseline average for a similar building of this type.
§ Both the lighting system and HVAC system have additional controllability for thermal comfort and reduced energy usage.
§ In order to present the Owner with as high a quality of Indoor Environment possible at time of occupancy, materials used in construction were selected based on reducing the amount of VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) or “new building smell,” the products off-gas. These VOC’s have been linked to various health issues and are considered dangerous in high amounts of exposure.
§ In addition to the low VOC products, the HVAC system was kept clean and protected from weather, dust, dirt, and debris all throughout construction. This keeps the system from being contaminated prior to start up and introducing the dust, dirt, and debris into the occupied spaces upon startup of the equipment.
§ Occupancy sensors and duel switching were incorporated to provide for both reduced energy usage and occupancy comfort.
§ Energy efficient light fixture lamping was selected to reduce the overall amount of energy consumption.
Farnsworth Group, Inc. has been recognized as one of the Top 500 Design Firms by Engineering News-Record (ENR) magazine. Farnsworth Group landed at No. 240 on the ENR annual listing of the Top 500 Design Firms, which marks the firm's highest ranking on the prestigious list.More >>
When 2011 arrived, so did the new mandatory California Green building code - for all California cities and counties. Throughout 2011, Farnsworth will offer tailored workshops that provide you in depth working knowledge of building commissioning, sustainability practices, and CALGreen.More >>