GREEN BUILDING INITIATIVE™ RECOGNIZES FIRST GREEN STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICE BUILDING IN ARKANSAS
—Arkansas Environmental Quality Agency Headquarters Highlights Water Conservation and Minimization of Air Emissions—
Little Rock, Ark. (September 28, 2007) – Today at a special open house, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's headquarters celebrated a sustainable construction milestone by becoming the first state government office building in Arkansas to be recognized by the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes environmental assessment and rating system. On hand for the dedication were (left to right): Mike Beebe, Governor of Arkansas; Teresa Marks, ADEQ Director; Ward Hubbell, President of the Green Building Initiative.
Little Rock, Ark. (September 28, 2007) — Today, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and state of Arkansas celebrated a sustainable construction milestone when the ADEQ's Headquarters was recognized by the Green Building Initiative's (GBI) Green Globes™ environmental assessment and rating system for commercial buildings.
GBI president Ward Hubbell presented Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe and ADEQ Director Teresa Marks with a plaque recognizing the building's rating of three Green Globes at an open house. The building, which is the first green state government office building in Arkansas, was recognized for its water conserving features, such as low flush toilets and water-saving fixtures on faucets, the minimization or air emissions and ozone depletion and the incorporation of site design and enhancement techniques to minimize the building's environmental impact.
"As a state, we are constantly striving to make our built environment more sustainable and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality headquarters is a perfect example of this commitment," said Marks. "The additional recognition we receive by achieving three Green Globes will help us showcase that today; sustainability goes into everything we do as Arkansans."
Green Globes for New Construction was adapted from a system that is widely used in Canada, where it is one of only two green building rating systems recognized by the Canadian federal government. Under the trade name Go Green Plus it is also the basis of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada's national energy and environmental program for existing buildings.
"The sustainable features of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Headquarters are yet another testament to the progressive environmental commitment continually demonstrated by the leadership of Arkansas," said Hubbell. "Much like the state's innovative sustainable construction policies have opened the market to systems like Green Globes and encouraged more people to design and build green, this building sets an example for municipal buildings across the country."
The new, six-story headquarters for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is near the Arkansas River and was constructed using materials sourced from local and regional vendors wherever possible. Materials had high recycled content and were highly recyclable, and were chosen with consideration of their life cycle assessment (LCA) results. Life cycle assessment considers materials over the course of their entire lives and takes into account a full range of environmental impact indicators—including embodied energy, solid waste, air and water pollution, and global warming potential.
The main features of the 124,310-square-foot building include long north/south exposures which run parallel with the river and allow breezes off the water to help cool the facility, the storage and collection of recyclables to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, and the establishment of a 100 percent smoke-free campus which completely eliminates the harmful affects of second-hand smoke.
To encourage greater environmental awareness, tours of the ADEQ Headquarters are available to the public. The building has space for classes and discussions, including an outdoor amphitheater and indoor auditorium. In addition, the building features a 21 acre education outreach conservation easement, which is set aside as a wetland mitigation and natural habitat setting. The site is forever designated by the state government to remain in its natural, unimpeded condition along the banks of the Arkansas River.
"ADEQ's mission is to protect, enhance, and restore the environment for the well-being of all Arkansans," said ADEQ Chief Deputy Director Mary Leath. "We believe that it's our role to demonstrate by example how buildings can make a much more positive impact on the environment."
To achieve a verified rating, the team from TME, Inc. used the Green Globes tool to assess and rate the building, which was then verified by a third-party building science expert who reviewed the construction documents and conducted an on-site inspection.
"The ADEQ's new headquarters represents an earnest pledge to environmentally-sound design, construction and operations in Arkansas," said Jay Holstead, sustainability consultant, TME, Inc. "However, this effort extends beyond the architects, engineers, contractors and ADEQ management, to include the efforts and support of the GBI. Through their Green Globes system, we were afforded opportunities to address and enhance both our approach and the final product."
The ADEQ Headquarters is just one of the buildings that have completed certification in the United States using the Green Globes system. Others include: the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Ark.; Blakely Hall in Issaquah, Wash.; the Pfizer Inc. Clinical Research Unit in New Haven, Conn.; the RenewAire, LLC corporate headquarters in Madison, Wis.; and the Materials Recovery Facility in Summit County, Colo.
Participating in the on-site dedication ceremony at the ADEQ headquarters were:
- Mike Beebe, Governor of Arkansas
- Teresa Marks, ADEQ Director
- Ward Hubbell, President, Green Building Initiative
For more information about the GBI or Green Globes, visit www.thegbi.org.
ABOUT THE GREEN BUILDING INITIATIVE: The mission of the Green Building Initiative is to accelerate the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical green building approaches. A not-for-profit education initiative, the GBI is supported by a broad cross section of organizations and individuals with an interest in residential and commercial construction. For more information on the Green Building Initiative, please visit www.thegbi.org.