In 2016, Nashville’s Fire Station 19 received LEED Platinum certification. Then, in June 2017, it was awarded the 2017 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award (GESA) in the “Building Green” category. This facility that houses the city’s first responders 24/7 has several innovative features and has set the bar for future Nashville city buildings.
If you are interested in exploring Fire Station 19 firsthand, join USGBC Tennessee for a free, behind-the-scenes tour on Wed., June 28 at noon. Please send an email for details and to reserve your spot.
LEED Platinum through triple bottom line achievement
For Fire Station 19 to obtain the 80 points required by LEED for Platinum certification, seven different credit categories were met within the LEED BD+C: New Construction rating system—view the project’s LEED Scorecard.
Many of the building’s features provide not only environmental benefits, but economic and health ones as well, which emphasizes the USGBC’s commitment to the triple bottom line concept. This idea shines light on the importance of considering people (social capital), planet (natural capital), and profit (economic capital) during the completion of a truly sustainable project.
The station has low-emitting materials for all adhesives, paints, carpet systems and composite wood materials to make it a healthier environment for the city's first responders. The HVAC system provides a constant flow of adequate ventilation to occupied spaces, leading to improved indoor air quality. In the words of Captain Derek Hogan, “I can breathe in this one. I’ve got allergies real bad, and at the old station, I got a lot of flare-ups. [Since working at Fire Station 19,] I’ve missed fewer days at work because of being sick.”
Fire Station 19’s innovative design also protects the planet. With the energy demand offset provided by the solar photovoltaic system, total annual greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 28.9 metric tons. Fire Station 19 contains 31 percent local and 16 percent recycled content in building materials. Furthermore, over 60 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill, saving 158,000 pounds of construction waste from burial.
Optimizing efficiencies in lighting systems, mechanical heating and cooling systems, use of renewable energy, and plumbing fixtures that reduce both water consumption and the electricity needed to heat water created an overall annual energy cost reduction of 44 percent compared to a baseline building. This amounted to $11,000 saved in 2016 alone. A key contributor to this success is the station’s 33kW photovoltaic panel system, which provides 15 percent of the building’s electricity use. This is Metro Nashville’s first solar installation in which power produced is used onsite, directly by the building, first.
Metro’s Department of General Services (DGS) manages nearly 100 city buildings. Since 2010, DGS has designed and constructed 12 LEED Silver and eight LEED Gold facilities, as well as one LEED Platinum. The Department’s Socket, Unplug Nashville program elevates its efforts, educating Metro employees and the public about how to live and work more sustainably. Metro’s DGS is helping to make Mayor Barry’s goal “for Nashville to be the greenest city in the Southeast” a reality.