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Aurora earns prestigious LEED Green Building certification

The Aurora Police Department Headquarters was recognized with the LEED Gold certification for its green features, including the permeable brick pavers in the parking lot that absorb storm-water runoff.

The Aurora Police Department Headquarters was recognized with the LEED Gold certification for its green features, including the permeable brick pavers in the parking lot that absorb storm-water runoff.

The City of Aurora has been awarded LEED Gold certification for the construction of its new Police Headquarters and Branch Court facility as established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

“The new Police Headquarters was not only built to enhance police operations and safety, but also to be one of the most environmentally-sound municipal buildings in the country,” Mayor Tom Weisner said. “Earning the prestigious LEED Gold certification is another mark of distinction recognizing Aurora’s leadership in sustainability initiatives.”

The Police facility achieved LEED certification for incorporating a variety of sustainable strategies involving energy use, lighting, water and material use. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for taxpayers, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier environment for residents.

“The Aurora Police Department’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Aurora serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.”

Construction on the Police Department and Branch Court facility, 1200 E. Indian Trail Road, was completed in late 2009. The 154,000-squre-foot facility is designed to use 27 percent less energy and 30 percent less water than a building of similar size and usage. The campus also includes a 200,000-square-foot parking deck and 42,000-square-foot Training and Support building. LEED certification of the facility was based on a number of green design and construction features including:

• Permeable pavers in the main parking lot that absorb storm-water runoff and are light in color so they do not reflect as much heat back into the building, which reduces cooling costs;
• Vegetated bioswales – as opposed to storm sewers – to carry water runoff into a 3.7 acre retention pond, which reduces the impact on Aurora’s municipal sewer system;
• “Daylight harvesting” elements that maximize natural light;
• Recycled content in drywall, steel and concrete; and
• Photovoltaic panels for solar power generation.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. More than 32,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems.

This is the fourth major award garnered by the City for its new Police Headquarters.

The City was honored this month by the Fox Valley Branch of the American Public Works Association for its “Project of the Year” in the Structures category. The facility will now move on to the Chicago Metro section and potentially for state and national recognition.

In 2009, the headquarters earned the “Project of the Year” by the Construction Industry Service Corp. Last March, the building was recognized again with the “Build to Suit Award” at the 22nd annual Chicago Real Estate Awards Dinner.

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