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Transportation Building brings home the platinum

ODOT’s remodeled headquarters building in Salem has received the LEED “Platinum” rating – the highest level – for being an environmentally-responsible and sustainable facility. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the industry framework for implementing green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Projects are judged based on energy use, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials and resources, and innovative design.
The designation was a result of a number of features in the building:
·         An efficient radiant panel heating and cooling system, a sensor operated lighting system, and newly insulated walls and roof all reduce energy use, and rooftop photovoltaic panels produce green energy.
·         Overall water use is targeted to be reduced by 56 percent compared to a typical office building through low-flow plumbing fixtures located throughout the building and rainwater collection tanks that collect and recycle 100,000 gallons each year for toilet flushing. Storm water planters in the east courtyard filter water runoff from the roof.
·         Sustainable materials were used. Contractors used locally sourced materials, such as wood products. The building also contains a large selection of materials with high quantities of recycled material.
·         The facility provides inside and outside bike parking to encourage bike commuting.
Many of these features—particularly reducing water and energy use—will reduce the building’s long-term operations costs. By moving more people into the building, the remodel also allowed ODOT to reduce its costs for leasing space.
The building, located on the Capitol Mall, was built in 1951; few updates were made over the years until the rehabilitation began in 2010. The refurbished, historic facility re-opened in August 2012 – offering a healthier atmosphere for employees and visitors and a friendlier impact on the environment.
The project’s cost (including leasing space for workers while the building was under construction) came in at $56 million, around 19 percent under budget. Much of the reduction in expenses was due to the timing of the project: construction began just as the economy was slowing, making materials less expensive and creating competition for subcontracts that came in with lower bids than expected.