Sustainability

Calif. agency earns LEED-Gold certification

Posted on October 30, 2015

All photos courtesy VVTA
All photos courtesy VVTA

The Hesperia, Calif.-based Victor Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) earned the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The High Desert transit agency earned the award for the environmental-friendly design and construction of two separate buildings on its 10-acre facility.

VVTA moved into its 28,820-square-foot administration and operations building and 15,750-square-foot maintenance building in November 2011. For its innovative energy-saving and carbon-friendly construction, VVTA was also awarded the coveted Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District 2011/2012 Exemplar Award.

The centerpiece of the 10-acre facility is a 1-megawatt photovoltaic solar system, which produces in excess of 100% of the electricity used on the campus. The solar canopies double as shaded parking, reducing air conditioning cooling time during daytime bus start up. This also reduces fleet fuel use and emissions.

The administration and operations building ranked highest for its indoor environmental quality. As a sustainable site, it performed well in energy, atmosphere, innovation and water efficiency categories. Both buildings received high marks for drought-resistant water conservation features due in part to a state-of-the-art underground storm water treatment and retention system. Combined, the buildings reduce potable water consumption for irrigation by more than 50%, using Xeriscaping, a landscaping technique that reduces the need for supplemental water.

The administration building lighting system features motion detectors to reduce energy consumption during evening hours. Offices and hallways enlist rooftop solar tubes to harness natural light during daytime hours. Under-floor heating and ventilation enables air to flow through the work area rather than forcing it down from the ceilings.

More than 20% of building materials used in construction contain recycled content, while more than 50% of the wood used for construction is “sustainably harvested,” as defined by the Forest Stewardship Council.

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