UMass Amherst Police Station Receives LEED Gold Certification

AMHERST, Mass. — The UMass Amherst Police Station has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

The building was designed by Caolo & Bieniek Associates, Inc. of Chicopee. The general contractor was CTA Construction Company of Waltham.

The new police station is unique both in terms of LEED certification and building use, according to Joe Balzano, UMass Amherst project manager.

“This was the first project the university committed to seek LEED certification and registered with the USGBC,” Balzano said. “It was a perfect opportunity to highlight the university’s commitment to sustainability given that the new police station is one of the few mission-critical facilities on campus that must operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and 365 days per year. And the entire project team—the UMass Building Authority, Joslin, Lesser and Associates, Caolo & Bieniek and CTA Construction—worked tirelessly to develop a project that could help the university reduce our dependence on traditional energy resources, which included a state-of-the-art ground-source heating and cooling system.”

The police station achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for the university and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council. “The UMass Police Station project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”

LEED certification of the UMass Amherst Police Station was based on a number of green design and construction features including:

  • The building includes a heating and cooling system that employs a distributed ground source heat pump fed from on-site hydro-thermal wells.
  • Mechanical ventilation is provided via a dedicated outside air unit utilizing an enthalpy wheel for energy recovery.
  • The HVAC system utilizes demand-control technologies to further reduce energy consumption during periods of time when portions of the building are unoccupied.
  • All mechanical and plumbing equipment and pumps are equipped with variable frequency drives.
  • The lighting design for the building employs energy-efficient lighting levels, occupancy sensors, and daylight dimming controls.
  • The building envelope includes increased insulation values and all windows and entry doors have been designed with enhanced thermally broken and insulated glazing systems.
  • The project includes water efficiency measures with the use of low-flow plumbing fixtures.

The 27,000-square-foot building opened in April 2011 at a total project cost of $12.5 million. It serves as the home of the 63-member UMass Amherst Police Department and includes facilities for community education services, emergency operations and central communications.

The station is the second UMass Amherst facility to receive LEED Gold certification. In May, the George N. Parks Minuteman Marching Band Building was also recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Building Certification Institute.

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