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The market for green buildings for public agencies is perhaps the largest single green market in the US, and it is growing rapidly. Based on the combined office, public safety and recreation segments, the market exceeds $43 billion per year, much of it in smaller buildings. Whether for office buildings, public safety and justice, libraries, cultural or recreational projects, laboratories or public housing, there is a rising demand to meet the increasing array of public policy directives to achieve LEED certification in all new public buildings above a certain size, typically 5,000 square feet (450 sqm) to 10,000 square feet (900 sqm).

Types of public agency projects with LEED-certification goals often include:

• police stations, fire stations and emergency communications centers;

• community centers, pools and recreation centers, and senior centers;

• museums, libraries and visitor centers;

• city halls and county administrative centers;

• convention centers and performing arts centers;

• airport, rail and transit facilities;

• courthouses and jails;

• warehouses and vehicle maintenance facilities;

Federal projects tend to be the largest, followed by state government buildings. The US GSA has been one of the leaders in adopting LEED and pushing it into their projects through the Design Excellence Program. Through March 2007, about 44 major federal projects have received LEED certification. The federal government budgeting process also seems conducive to using green building measures, since the "feds" have the attitude of a long-term owner-operator of buildings and a long-standing commitment to energy conservation in buildings via the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).18

A good example of a recent public project is the LEED Platinum certified Science & Technology Facility at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Shown in Figure 5.6, this project in

▲ 5.6 Designed by SmithGroup, the Science & Technology Facility at the US Department of Energy's NREL is LEED-NC Platinum certified. Photography by Bill Timmerman. Courtesy of SmithGroup.

► 5.7 Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the Des Moines Library is LEED-NC Silver certified. Courtesy David Chipperfield Architects and Des Moines Public Library/ Photographer Farshid Assassi.

► 5.7 Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the Des Moines Library is LEED-NC Silver certified. Courtesy David Chipperfield Architects and Des Moines Public Library/ Photographer Farshid Assassi.

Chipperfield Library Golden Facade

Golden, Colorado, was the first federal facility to be Platinum rated. Dedicated in August 2006, this 71,000 gross square foot, multi-story facility houses solar, basic science and hydrogen research.

To conserve energy, the building is properly oriented to the sun, with appropriate placement of windows, including clerestory glazing, providing abundant natural light to the offices and laboratories within. The project implemented additional sun-control elements such as briese-soleil and horizontal shading fins to reduce solar gain and demand for air conditioning. The engineering design specified state-of-the-art mechanical systems, reduced lighting power density, automated lighting controls and underfloor air systems for the office, reducing energy consumption by over 40 percent as compared to similar new federal buildings.19

Another public project is the LEED Silver certified Des Moines Pubic Library, shown in Figure 5.7. The library will become a centerpiece for the urban renewal of Des Moines, Iowa in an area that is undergoing extensive redevelopment.

The glass façade consists of triple glazing units with an integrated metal mesh that decreases solar gain up to 80 percent thus significantly reducing the building's cooling load. The elaborate building shape maximizes daylight, which indirectly helps reduce the demand for air conditioning. In addition to rainwater retention, the green roof provides a sense of visual connection to the Western Gateway Park that surrounds the building.

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