In 2016, Fire Station No. 3 in Wilmington, North Carolina, achieved LEED Silver certification. Since that time, the station has become fully operational, and with a number of years of utility data as evidence, serves as a model of energy efficiency and demonstrates the value of investing in LEED certification.
For Fire Station No. 3 to achieve LEED Silver certification, seven different credit categories were met within LEED BD+C: New Construction under LEED 2009. The features integrated into the project focused on the triple bottom line and provided environmental, social and economic benefits.
Fire Station No. 3 provided environmental benefits through its integrated design. The station’s energy demand was offset through the use of solar thermal panels to provide hot water and radiant floor heating. The station used 31 percent recycled content and 24 percent local products in the building materials used for construction. Only indigenous plants, which do not require additional irrigation, were used for the landscaping. Also, over 84 percent of the waste generated was diverted from the landfill.
The social benefits of the project are exemplified by the consideration of the health and well-being of the station occupants. The station employed low-emitting materials for all paints, coatings and flooring systems, to minimize harmful chemicals from the indoor environment.
The HVAC system was designed to provide optimal fresh ventilation to all occupied spaces, and CO2 sensors/alarms ensure low levels of indoor air pollutants. Also, to encourage alternative transportation, the site chosen for the station is located a short walk from public transportation stops.
By optimizing the efficiencies of lighting systems, HVAC systems, water fixtures and fittings, and the use of renewable energy, Fire Station No. 3 is proven to have the lowest energy use intensity (EUI) (a key benchmark when measuring a building's energy efficiency) of all the city’s fire stations.
With EUI as the measure, Fire Station No. 3 highlights the benefits of Wilmington's investment in green and energy-efficient design, when considering the operational and lifetime costs of a new building.
Consider that Fire Station #3, as the second largest at 14,586 square feet, has the lowest EUI in comparison to other city fire stations, which average less than half the size (approximately 6,511 square feet). The design decisions incorporated into Fire Station No. 3 will continue to provide benefits to the city through lower operational and utility costs over the lifetime of the facility.
Fire Station No. 3 is just one of Wilmington's LEED-certified buildings. Join USGBC North Carolina for a Green Scene activity on August 22—a tour of the LEED Silver Wilmington Convention Center.