June 13, 2013

Waste Not - Want Not

Restored Historic West Des Moines achieves LEED Platinum.

The restored West Des Moines City Hall, located in the Historic Valley Junction area recently received LEED Platinum certification under the 2009 version. This is the highest possible rating by the U.S. Green Building Council for leadership in energy efficiency and environmental design, an incredibly difficult feat in a building constructed in the early 1900's.

The City of West Des Moines acquired the Historic City Hall in 2007 after many years of varied use and set about with the assistance of RDG to rehabilitate it as a demonstration project incorporating several sustainable building techniques. "RDG Planning & Design has served the City of West Des Moines in many ways over many years. We are extremely proud of the City's decision to invest in a "Main Street," historic re-use project that includes highly innovative and sustainable design practices. This project has already become a model for other cities to follow across the nation," declares RDG Principal, Phil Hodgin.

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West Des Moines Historic City Hall is the second building in Iowa to have the unique distinction of being on the National Register of Historic Places as well as earning LEED Platinum status. The restored World Food Prize - Hall of Laureates, also on the National Register, was recently recognized as Platinum certified under LEED v2.2. It takes serious thoughtfulness and involvement from the designer, owner and builder working together to achieve LEED Platinum in historic structures, but when faced with sustainable decisions about the built environment, restoration and adaptive reuse of existing facilities is perhaps the most responsible choice we can make. The opportunity to use salvaged and repurposed materials helps to reduce the amount of construction waste from demolition activities, helps preserve the historic context of a community, and helps reduce the demand on new resources. This project is a national model of success for transforming treasured, aging buildings into usable, energy-efficient, technology-friendly facilities.

The project earned a 68% reduction in energy costs with the help of 4 geothermal wells and 20 photovoltaic panels that supply 44% of the building's energy. In the building's first full month of net metering, the total energy use for this 3,132 square foot building was 305kWh, for an energy bill of $30.54.
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