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The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) www.usgbc.org, encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.

LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.


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The Path to Platinum

  • Begin with an Integrated design charrette
  • Involve all team members (architects, engineers, contractor, owner)
  • Establish site boundary
  • Develop a LEED tracking tool specifying tasks and responsibilities
  • Conduct periodic team meetings for design updates and credit achievement
  • Coordinate among all disciplines for input on constructability and cost

The green vision for this project was identified as follows:

  • Pre-development site hydrology
  • Zero-energy
  • 60% potable water use reduction
  • No potable water for irrigation
  • Reuse trees cleared on-site
  • 30% recycled content materials based on cost
  • Achieve LEED-NC Platinum - a "first" for a military installation and/or RCI partner.
  • Provide significant educational value for both the Fort Belvoir residents and the general public.
  • Construct a neighborhood center that not only serves the needs of Belvoir's community but also maintains the aesthetic form of the historic housing on the base.




Sustainable Sites

  • Bike racks and shower
  • Preferred parking for hybrid vehicles
  • Preferred parking for carpool vehicles
  • Over 20,000 SF of vegetated open space
  • Educational butterfly garden with native/adaptive species of plants
  • Pervious concrete
  • Rain gardens
  • Reduction of site temperature through shading and high reflective roofing
  • Full cut-off exterior lights to promote dark skies and reduce light pollution
  • Interior lights on occupancy sensors

Water Efficiency

  • 43% water savings
  • Dual-flush toilets, low-flow urinals and showerheads, sensored lavatory faucets, aerated kitchen faucet
  • No permanent landscape irrigation
  • Native/adaptive, non-invasive, and drought tolerant vegetation

Energy & Atmosphere

  • 60% energy savings achieved (by cost)
  • 23% on-site energy generation (by cost)
  • Ground source heat pump HVAC system with on-site vertical wells, efficient lighting and control systems, roof-mounted solar panels, efficient building insulation (R-19 walls, R-38 roof, R-7 slab insulation), tight building envelope (high performance windows and doors)
  • Enhanced commissioning to ensure building is constructed and operated as designed
  • Low ozone depleting refrigerants and chemicals

Materials & Resources

  • 95% construction and demolition waste diverted from landfills
  • Use of salvaged materials
    • Brick from other buildings on Ft. Belvoir
    • Wood flooring
    • Playground equipment
  • 10% recycled-content materials
    • pre and post-consumer products (concrete fly ash, carpet, linoleum, tiles)
  • 20% regional materials to reduce transportation (within 500 miles of site)
  • 5% rapidly renewable materials (products that can be re-harvested quickly)
  • 50% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood
  • Advanced framing techniques to reduce material waste:
    • 24” in-line framing
    • 2-stud corners

Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

  • Indoor air quality management during construction and pre-occupancy
    • Protection of materials and ductwork
    • Temporary MERV 8 filters during construction
  • Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) materials (paints, carpet, sealants)
  • No formaldehyde composite wood
  • Lighting controls for occupants (dimmers, task lighting)
  • Accessible thermostats
  • Carbon dioxide monitoring devices to ensure proper outside air ventilation
  • Containment of areas with potential contaminants (janitor’s closet, copy/fax room)
  • Thermal comfort survey for occupants
  • Outside views for at least 90% of regularly occupied spaces

Innovation in Design

  • Green educational program
  • Website, self-guided tour, signage program
  • Exceeding LEED criteria in the following areas:
    • Energy Performance
    • On-site Renewable Energy Generation
    • Water Use Reduction



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