Public Safety Building cited as a top green project in state
By Katie Demeria
Virginia has been voted the third best state in the country for green buildings, and the Warren County Public Safety Building has been cited as one of the better projects in the commonwealth.
The United States Green Building Council released its list of the top states with green buildings last week.
The Warren County Public Safety Building received Gold LEED certification, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, in April 2013, according to County Administrator Doug Stanley.
"We wanted to do it for several reasons," Stanley said. "One, it's the right thing to do, and two, you're reducing your environmental footprint. And third, and probably most importantly, you're going to realize some long term savings cost."
"We initially started off hoping for silver certification, and were surprised and pleased that we were able to obtain gold," he continued.
Some LEED features include bicycle racks and preferred parking spaces for fuel-efficient vehicles, along with landscaping with native, drought-resistant vegetation, Stanley said.
"Also, the fixtures of the building are part of a high performance system to prevent air infiltration like cold air in the winter and hot air in the summer," he added.
Like other LEED certified projects, the building is designed to take advantage of natural resources so as to avoid waste. The USGBC website describes the certification as a "green building tool that addresses the entire building lifecycle recognizing best-in-class building strategies."
Cost savings throughout the next several years will be one of the benefits of having an energy-efficient building, Stanley said. The goal is that, within several decades, the building will be as energy- and financially efficient as it is now.
The 200 Skyline Vista Drive building houses the Warren County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Fire and Rescue.
Sheriff Daniel McEathron said he is proud of the building's energy efficiency.
"Of course it's good to be environmentally conscious, and we're happy that it turned out as well as it has," McEathron said. "It's definitely an example of an impressive project within the commonwealth of Virginia. It's nice to have the recognition."
Stanley said the RWS Regional Jail is in the process of seeking LEEDS certification.
"The Public Safety Building is probably the most visible LEED building, and we're hoping it will soon be followed by the jail, because we had some of the same intentions in mind behind it," he said.
He added that the Public Safety Building was designed so energy efficient thanks to a great deal of effort from many individuals.
"Certainly, I want to thank the Board of Supervisors for their vision and pushing us in the direction to build something that is environmental and that will save us precious resources in the long run," he said. "We always want to be good stewards of our natural resources."
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or email@example.com