County Executive Falk Achieves “Green” Courthouse Design
May 22, 2002
Sharyn Wisniewski, (608) 267-8823
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today sent the follwoing memo to the Courthouse Oversight Committee, Chief Judge Michael Nowakowski, County Board Chair Kevin Kesterson and the Board of Supervisors, detailing how a “green” courthouse design has been achieved, despite the Oversight Committee falling short of this goal.
Having achieved a green building design, Falk has now signed off on the “Approval of Design Development” for the new county courthouse.
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DATE: May 23, 2002
TO: Courthouse Oversight Committee
Chief Judge Michael Nowakowski
Dane County Board Chair Kevin Kesterson
Dane County Board of Supervisors
FROM: Kathleen M. Falk
Dane County Executive
RE: Green Courthouse
As you should know, one of my priorities for the new Courthouse is that it be an environmentally sound building, a “green” building. Accordingly, I was surprised and disappointed by the Oversight Committee’s approval of the design of the building when it was still short of the features needed for it to be green. I immediately directed county staff to work with the building’s designers, especially the Weidt Group consulting firm the county engaged to assist in planning the environmental features of the Courthouse, to determine what we could do to have a green Courthouse.
This effort has been successful. Thanks to the very capable leadership of Bonnie Hammersley and the expertise of the Weidt Group, the Courthouse will have environmental features to earn a score of 28 on the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system; 26 is the minimum required for designation as a green building. In addition, the Departments of Administration and Public Works, and the Durrant Group, are investigating three additional options to improve the environmental quality of the building and earn more green points.
No additions to the Courthouse budget were necessary to obtain these additional points. Essentially, Bonnie Hammersley provided for a more thorough and systematic integration of the work of the Weidt and Durrant Groups and a careful review of different options for different parts of the project. As a result, we recognized several improvements we had already authorized and identified opportunities for other green features. For example, we identified the high percentage of recycled materials we will use in the building and are now exploring the feasibility of using solar or wind-generated electric power (attached is additional explanatory material prepared by the Weidt Group).
For the building to receive an official LEED certification, the County would have to spend up to several hundred thousand dollars for consulting firms to certify the design features and test their implementation during the building’s construction and first years of operations. I don’t think we can afford that much money for official certification. However, I am directing the Departments of Administration and Public Works to monitor and assure the performance of the many green features of this building.
With the assurance that we will have a green Courthouse, I have today signed the “Approval of Design Development.” Judge Nowakowski has already signed it and I am forwarding it to Chairperson Kesterson for his approval. With these approvals, the Durrant Group will begin working on the construction documents.
Process to obtain LEED Credits
Prerequisite 1. – Project specifications, rezoning applications requirements or demolition documents will require a sediment and erosion control plan to be developed and implemented.
Credit 1. – The site selected meets the criteria for appropriate development.
Credit 2. – The site selected meets criteria for urban area development.
Credit 4.1. – The building is located within ¼ mile of 2 bus lines.
Credit 4.2. – Bike racks for 5% of employees will be provided.
Credit 4.4 – On site parking for the new facility is less than existing site parking. May require county to provide additional carpolling stalls at existing county parking ramp.
Credit 5.2. – Open space provided on site exceeds local zoning requirements.
Credit 7.1 – More than 50% of on site parking is located underground.
Credit 8. – Lighting design will meet required standards and control of direct beam illumination.
Credit 1.1 and 1.2. – No permanent irrigation system will be provided.
Energy and Atmosphere
Prerequisite 1. – Commissioning will not be done.
Prerequisite 2. – The building will be disgined to exceed ASHRAE and local energy codes.
Prerequisite 3. – No CFC based refrigerants/systems will be specified.
Credit 1. – Energy modeling of current design indicates that the building exceeds ASHRAE standard by more than 30% which secures 3 LEED credits.
Indoor Environmental Quality
Prerequisite 1. – Design will meet ASHRAE ventilation standards.
Prerequisite 2. – Owner will prohibit smoking in the building.
Credit 1. – CO2 monitoring and control system will be specified for the building.
Credit 3.2. – Owner or Contractor shall conduct 2 week flush out after construction and prior to occupancy.
Credit 4.1 and 4.2. – Adhesives, sealants, painting and coatings will be specified to be VOC compliant.
Credit 8.1. – Daylighting factor is met if the courtrooms are removed from the equation.
Materials and Resources
Prerequisite 1. – Dedicated space for recycling will be provided for the building per Wisconsin Codes.
Credit 2.1. – Owner will implement a waste management plan for existing building and site demolition. Construction specifications will require contractor to implement construction waste management plan.
Credit 3.1. – Owner will document 5% of building materials to be salvaged, refurbished or re-used equipment.
Credit 4.1 and 4.2. – Greater than 50% of specified building materials will contain 20% post consumer or 40% post industrial content per LEED calculations.
Credit 5.1 and 5.2. – A/E will work with Owner to specify minimum of 20% locally manufactured materials and 10% locally supplied raw materials.
Credit 7. – 50% of wood based materials can be specified to be certified by FSC guidelines.
Credit 1. – Owner shall establish a policy of using only environmentally friendly cleaning products in the building.
Dane County Justice Center
Paragraph 28 of the Master Agreement was amended on September 6, 2001 to read as follows:
28. The Architect shall perform all usual and customary architectural work to complete the design development phase of the Project. Throughout the design development phase and thereafter as necessary the Architect shall retain the services of the Weidt Group for the purpose of developing a green building design.
The Architect shall prepare a final design development documents, including a statement of probable cost, for presentation to and written approval by the Oversight Committee, the County Executive, the Chief Judge, the County Board Chair or their designees. The next phase shall not be commenced until issuance of the foregoing approval.
On April 22, 2002 the Justice Center Oversight Committee unanimously approved the Design Development phase of the project. However, the LEED credits recognized totaled only twenty-one, five short of a certified level based on LEED rating system.
The County Executive indicated that she would not provide written approval of the Design Development phase until the project recognized the certified level (26 points) of the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
On May 8, 2002 a meeting was organized with the purpose to review the overall project sustainability level with regard to LEED credits. As a result of the meeting, the building design recognized 24 LEED credits. Participants were assigned tasks to obtain updated information on additional items by May 16, 2002. Participants at the meeting included: Ron Mastalski (Durrant), Jerry Olson (Durrant), Clyde Fuhrmeister (Durrant), Cleven McChesney (Durrant), Mike Pederson (Durrant) David Eijadi (Weidt Group), Prasad Vaidya (Weidt Group), Judge Sarah O’Brien, Sherrie Gruder, John Reindl, Bonnie Hammersley, Supervisor Karen Cornwell, Kara Tuttamore (Johnson Controls), Bob Criscione (Madison Gas & Electric), Abby Vogen (Focus on Energy), and Rob Nebel.
On May 16, 2002 a meeting was organized to review the updated information on the additional items that could possibly meet the criteria of LEED credits. The result of this meeting recognized 4 additional LEED credits. The current building design established 28 LEED credits without an increase to the project budget. There are ongoing efforts (following bullets) to increase the LEED credits and improve the environmental design of the Justice Center project.
The Department of Administration is investigating with MG&E and Focus on Energy the feasibility of onsite and offsite Green Power generation and/or renewable energy for the Justice Center project.
The Department of Public Works is working with the Design Committee to investigate increasing the number of operable windows, humidity monitoring and the level of insulation to improve the indoor air quality and increase the efficiency of the building. The operable windows and humidity control will increase the budget, however if the level of insulation were reduced it may offset the increased costs.
The Durrant Group is investigating the cost of using composite wood and agrifiber products that do not contain urea-formaldehyde resins to improve indoor air quality.