Renewable Energy Visitor Center Earns LEED Platinum Certification
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida—CDM Smith has earned a LEED® Platinum certification for the Visitor Center designed and built as part of the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s 3,000 ton-per-day mass burn renewable energy facility, which started commercial operations in July 2015.
The three-story Visitor Center includes meeting space and interactive displays through which the Solid Waste Authority’s county-wide integrated solid waste management programs are highlighted, along with the story and technology of the mass burn waste-to-energy facility. As part of the experience, visitors are able to traverse the award-winning sky bridge to the main control room area of the process building while observing the main components of the mass burn facility.
To attain LEED Platinum, the Visitor Center applied stormwater management best practices maximizing quantity and quality of stormwater, augmented by permeable plaza pavement, regionally appropriate landscaping and a rainwater capture system with an intensive green roofing system. The building is designed to maximize daylight and was built using recycled and regionally-sourced materials to reduce its carbon footprint. A 45 KW photovoltaic system was also incorporated into the parking canopy reducing annual energy usage by 90% and resulting in energy costs of less than $900 a year, when combined with conservation strategies.
About the LEED Certification
The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. More than 74,000 commercial projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 14 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and more than 150 countries. Four LEED Platinum projects exist in Palm Beach County, as well as 27 in the state of Florida and 620 across the nation.
CDM Smith provides lasting and integrated solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities to public and private clients worldwide. As a full-service engineering and construction firm, we deliver exceptional client service, quality results and enduring value across the entire project life cycle.