LEED Gold awarded to Vance Federal Building and Courthouse

The renovation and rehabilitation of the Robert S. Vance Federal Building and Courthouse in Birmingham, AL has received LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council!  The project is certified under LEED version 3.0, Building Design and Construction.

HHB Engineers served as the MEP engineers of record for the project for Quinn Evans Architects out of Washington D.C.  Read the project Architect’s thoughts on the project on the Quinn Evans blog.

Our path to LEED Gold included 18 Sustainable sites points, 10 Water Efficiency points, 14 Energy and Atmosphere points, 7 Materials and Resource points, 19 Indoor Environmental Quality points, 5 of the 6 available Innovation and Design points, and all 4 Regional Priority credits.     The mechanical system contributed to the overall 29.9% energy cost reduction and 34% energy usage reduction over ASHRAE 90.1-2007 (11 overall points including 10 energy a 1 Regional point).  The cooling plant has a variable-primary pumping configuration, consisting of high efficient oil-free magnetic bearing centrifugal chillers equipped with variable frequency drives as the primary chillers as well as a small screw compressor heat pump chiller.  Plate-and-frame free cooling is provided for the cooling tower.   The variable primary heating plant consists of high efficiency modular natural gas boilers.   The outside air pre-conditioning system consists of both heat recovery coils and energy recovery wheels, adding to the efficiency of the overall system.   Advanced control strategies also contribute to the overall energy reduction of the Mechanical system, including chilled and hot water reset, supply air reset, optimum start-stop, and CO2 demand control ventilation for the Courtrooms.

Daylight harvesting, blast film with low solar heat gain coefficient, and new roof insulation also all contributed to the overall energy savings.

The project also includes solar domestic water heating; rainwater harvesting for fixture flushing, site irrigation, and cooling tower make-up; and high efficiency/low water demand plumbing system(s).  The rainwater collection system contributed to 70% indoor potable water savings.

In addition, Revit was utilized by the design team as a design and production tool on this project, as well as Navisworks clash detection by the Contractor during construction.

View complete project description include project photos here: Vance Federal Building