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Wilmette Gets Gold with First LEED Certified Facility

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Wilmette’s Public Works Facility has become the first village facility to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.  Additionally, the facility joins only a handful of public works buildings in the country to achieve the LEED Gold certification level.

The LEED system recognizes building strategies that maximize performance across several metrics categories: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

“We are very grateful to the community and administration for supporting our efforts to set a standard with this project,” says Donna Jakubowski, director of public works.  “The LEED certification represents the whole community’s intensified commitment to energy-efficient and environmentally-sensitive facilities.”

The certification recognizes the 2009 expansion/renovation designed by Legat Architects, Inc. and Epstein.  The project included a 12,900 square foot administrative office and wash bay addition, 15,000 square feet of interior remodeling, and various site improvements. 

“From the very beginning, Wilmette was intent on incorporating sustainable strategies,” says Marc Rohde, AIA, LEED AP, Legat Architects’ project manager and director of municipal architecture.  “As a result, the facility not only improves energy efficiency and reduces operational costs, but it also creates a healthier working environment, and helps preserve the environment for future generations.”  
   
In the checklist that determines LEED rankings, the Wilmette project achieved perfect or near perfect scores in categories for water efficiency, indoor air quality, and innovative design.  Following are a few of its sustainable design features:

· Energy-efficient metal wall system reduces heating and cooling loads
· North-facing glass curtain wall system fills the administration building with natural light, while keeping out heat and UV rays
· White reflective roof system reduces cooling loads
· Wash-out bay system fits four vehicles (previously only fit one) and recycles rinse water
· Efficient landscaping minimizes water use
· Parking lot bioswales filter oils and sediments before rainwater flows into sewers
· Alternative fuel vehicle and carpool parking spots

Vuk Vujovic, LEED AP, Legat Architects’ director of sustainable design, says, “In today’s economy, municipalities face many complex challenges: limited funds, increasing energy costs, and a growing public desire to be more sustainable.  The LEED certification is a testimony to Wilmette’s ability to meet those challenges and provide environmental leadership.”

In the near future, the Wilmette Public Works Department will receive and display a plaque that authenticates its LEED Gold certification.

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