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LEED Strategies for new Denver Union Station Transportation Facility




The Denver Union Station project is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for New Construction (NC) under the 2009 version which requires a minimum of 40 points, out of a possible 100 base points, 6 Innovation in Design points, and 4 Regional Priority points.  LEED NC is divided into 5 categories, including Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. 6 Innovation in Design points can be earned for exemplary performance in qualifying credits or unique solutions that add value to the project's sustainability and performance, such as a comprehensive education program. For this location, up to 4 Regional Priority points can be earned for exemplary performance in areas such as development density and community connectivity, storm water quantity control, the use of no irrigation for landscaping, 40 percent water use savings, 48 percent energy cost savings, and 13 percent onsite renewable energy production. Regional Priority credits are tailored to specific micro climates and regional provisions by zip code. RTD and the design-build team are pursuing the following LEED credits and strategies to incorporate high performance design and sustainability into the project:

Sustainable Sites
  • Construction Activity Pollution Prevention Prerequisite: to decrease the loss of topsoil, erosion, sedimentation, and airborne dust. 
  • Site Selection: to protect local animal habitats and water bodies, decrease the need for expanded utility services, and decrease the use of virgin land.       
  • Development Density and Community Connectivity: to aide the use of public transportation in lieu of automobiles, to increase community connectivity, decrease infrastructure needs, and provide access to amenities for populations dependent on public transportation.      
  • Brownfield Redevelopment: to decrease further contamination of land by reclaiming and cleaning up previously developed sites.  
  • Alternative Transportation - Public Transportation Access: to significantly increase public transportation services by providing a hub for light rail, commuter rail, and bus services in one central downtown location.      
  • Alternative Transportation - Bicycle Storage and Changing Rooms: to increase alternative transportation choices and encourage non-motorized, non-fueled options.     
  • Alternative Transportation - Parking Capacity: to discourage the use of automobiles by providing no new parking for the site.    
  • Heat Island Effect - Non-Roof: to encourage infiltration of stormwater into the soil and provide shade to adjacent hard surface areas which decreases heat island effects and serves to connect humans with natural environments.     
  • Heat Island Effect -Roof: to mitigate heat island effects, which can increase cooling loads of buildings and negatively affect local wildlife.

Water Efficiency
  • 20 percent Water Use Reduction Prerequisite: to conserve water and decrease infrastructure expansion.   
  • Water Use Reduction: to realize further water savings which saves money, decreases infrastructure needs, and conserves a precious natural resource.

Energy and Atmosphere
  • Fundamental Commissioning of Building Energy Systems Prerequisite: to foster the correct performance of energy related systems.     
  • 10 percent Minimum Energy Performance Prerequisite: to save energy and natural resources by creating a high performance building. 
  • Fundamental Refrigerant Management Prerequisite: to decrease the use of CFC's which negatively impacts the ozone layer and effects climate change.
  • Optimize Energy Performance: to further increase energy savings which decreases extraction and manufacturing, transportation, and usage of fossil fuels.    
  • Enhanced Refrigerant Management: to eradicate the use of refrigerants in the building.
  • Measurement and Verification: to increase building performance and verify that systems continue to operate as designed.

Materials and Resources
  • Storage and Collection of Recyclables Prerequisite: to encourage recycling and limit the amount of material going to landfills.
  • 75 percent Construction Waste Management: to encourage recycling of construction waste and limit the amount of material going to landfills.   
  • 20 percent Recycled Content: to decrease the use of virgin materials and decrease the amount of material going to landfills.      

  • 20 percent Regional Materials: to support the local economy and decrease transportation impacts.
  • 50 percent Certified Wood: to support sustainable harvesting practices and discourage clear-cutting of forests which negatively impacts soil, water, and air quality, destroys local habitats, and affects local micro climates.

Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Minimum IAQ Performance Prerequisite: to increase interior air quality for occupant health.
  • Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control Prerequisite: to decrease tobacco smoke pollution.
  • Outdoor Air Delivery Monitoring: to monitor CO2 levels so that improved air quality can be achieved.  Increased Ventilation: to increase the amount of fresh, outdoor air being circulated in the building for increased occupant health.  
  • Construction IAQ Management - During Construction: to effectively reduce the amount of contaminants coming into the building, settling on equipment, or developing on materials.      
  • Construction IAQ Management - Before Occupancy: to increase air quality by flushing out lingering contaminants or testing to verify adequate air quality. 
  • Low-Emitting Materials -  Adhesives and Sealants: to decrease volatile organic compounds (VOC) from entering the building which negatively impacts installer and building occupant health.
  • Low-Emitting Materials: - Paints and Coatings: to decrease volatile organic compounds (VOC) from entering the building which negatively impacts installer and building occupant health. 
  • Low-Emitting Materials - Flooring Systems: to decrease volatile organic compounds (VOC) from entering the building which negatively impacts installer and building occupant health.
  • Low-Emitting Materials - Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products: to decrease volatile organic compounds (VOC) from entering the building which negatively impacts installer and building occupant health.
  • Controllability of Systems - Lighting: to increase occupant comfort and well being, and reduce energy consumption.
  • Controllability of Systems - Thermal Control: to increase occupant comfort and well-being, and reduce energy consumption.
  • Thermal Comfort - Design: to increase occupant comfort and well being, and reduce energy consumption.
  • Thermal Comfort - Verification: to increase occupant comfort and well being, and reduce energy consumption by assessing whether or not thermal comfort design strategies are effective and by taking measures to correct them if not.

Innovation in Design
  • Green Cleaning Policy: to discourage the use of harsh chemicals which can negatively impact user and building occupant health and present unique demands on municipal water systems.       
  • Alternative Transportation - Public Transportation Access: exemplary performance by doubling transit ridership to further promote alternative transportation usage by creating a hub for light rail, commuter rail, and bus services that are also accessible via bicycle and pedestrian activity.
  • Building Exterior and Hardscape Management Plan: to encourage the use of environmentally friendly practices and products while maintaining the site which increases local habitat vitality and health, user health, and soil, air, and water quality.  
  • Provide Sustainable Education: to promote sustainable practices by others for lower impacts to the earth and our health.
  • Low Impact Pest Management: to encourage the use of environmentally friendly practices and products for pest management, which increases local habitat vitality and health, user health, and air and water quality.
  • LEED accredited professional: to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of incorporating LEED into a project.




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