The office addition at Carriage Farm achieved 37 points under the United States Green Building Council’s Green Building Rating System, receiving LEED silver certification. The following highlights the strategies implemented in each of the 5 Green Building Rating System categories plus the innovation credit given for organic site management.
The LEED program is a third-party certification program and nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. It promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials resource management and indoor environmental quality.
Sustainable Site Development
- Site design devoted 87% of the land area to open space.
- Incorporates an operation that received a LEED Innovation Credit.
- Limiting impervious coverage and directing downspouts to under ground seepage pits reduces storm water run-off.
- A constructed rain garden improves the quality of storm water run-off and also provides habitat for wildlife.
- Soil erosion control is addressed by limiting site disturbance and the use of grass swales.
- Interior water use was reduced by 23% through the use of low-flow fixtures.
- Landscape design uses native and drought-tolerant plants that do not require irrigation further reducing water consumption.
- Use of geothermal heat pump system to provide heating & cooling.
- Two 9.8 kW solar photovoltaic power systems combined with low E-glazing on all windows and extensive use of low energy T-5 fluorescent light bulbs resulted in a 51% energy cost savings.
Material Resource Management
- 10% of the building materials were made from recycled products.
- 35% of the products were obtained locally.
- Construction waste management plan resulted in 140 tons of waste diverted from landfills or recycled.
- Reused materials attributed to 24% of product cost.
Indoor Environmental Quality
- Use of low VOC and formaldehyde-free construction materials.
- Implementation of a Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan.
- Installation of operable windows for natural ventilation and a 2-week building flush out prior occupancy.
Innovation Credit – Organic Site Management
The remaining 16 acres of open space area surrounding the recent development at Carriage Farm is currently being managed as certified organic land through the Northeastern Organic Farm Association. It is currently in hay, vegetable and grass-fed livestock production and will include free-range eggs in the summer 2009. By adopting organic land management practices the site sustainability is improved through the reduced use of chemicals and by helping increase biodiversity overall.