Indoor environmental quality. Low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpets, and composite wood products were specified whenever possible to minimize the amount of harmful VOC (volatile organic compounds).
Innovation in design. The campus includes a connection to, and destination for, a local bike path.
The design team and construction contractor also worked with the town's composting facility to use the material in all planting areas. They used more than 800 cubic yards of screened loam and 1,150 cubic yards of screened compost.
“This process is a wonderful example of how a community can recycle what some considered waste just a few years ago into a high-quality product,” says Hadley.
MAXIMIZING SITE PLACEMENT
The facility is located within a residential neighborhood, so minimizing noise and light pollution is critical.
To reduce noise on the north and west sides of the facility, where most of the homes are located, highly used areas such as maintenance and exterior storage face south. The vehicle staging and prep area, which is the campus' largest component, extends on an east-west axis through the site, containing noise on the south side while allowing for vehicle circulation within the site. Operations activities for sand and salt sheds are performed mainly inside the building, reducing noise and light levels when snow hits.
Located on a bus route, the facility is easy to get to. It also connects to the Minuteman Bikeway (also known as America's Revolutionary Rail-Trail), and encourages employees to bike to work by providing storage and changing rooms.
The facility earned a 2010 Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies and is being reviewed for LEED Silver Certification.
If accepted, it will be one of only a handful of certified public works facilities in the country. Also on the short list are the Naperville Public Works Center and the Oak Park Public Works Facility, both in Illinois, and the Pierce County Public Works building in Spanaway, Wash.
Meanwhile, Hadley is fielding calls and tour requests from municipalities interested in the building's green design elements.
“We're changing the future of public works organizations and the facilities they operate out of,” he says.
—Hirschfeld is a freelance writer in Chicago and editorial intern for PUBLIC WORKS; Sicaras is managing editor of PUBLIC WORKS.