Green Municipal

O’Connor Announces the William X. Wall Experiment Station’s LEED Platinum Certification

Exterior of William X. Wall Experiment Station

Exterior of William X. Wall Experiment Station

Canton, Mass – O’Connor Constructors, Inc. of Canton was selected as construction managers by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to renovate the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Senator William X. Wall Experiment Station in Lawrence. Together with the Architect, Perkins + Will of Boston and Engineer, RDK Engineers of Andover, the team successfully completed the project which recently achieved LEED Platinum certification.

This complex project was broken into two scopes of work. After the 13,000sf, three-story addition was constructed the DEP staff moved into the addition which made the existing 22,000sf  available for the necessary renovations. The entire project was conducted while the building remained occupied and operational. Along with the design team at Perkins + Will, O’Connor Constructors worked to accumulate all the necessary credits for review and submission to the Green Building Council.

Elements which helped this building to achieve the LLED Platinum level include:  52.5 kW solar photo-voltaic system, rain gardens & storm water detention basins to protect the Merrimack River, high performance roof & green roofed areas, rain water harvesting for reuse in water closets & cooling tower,· water efficient plumbing (40% savings), day lighting of 75% of the space, electric vehicle charging stations, optimized energy performance and building materials that are low VOC, come from regional sources, and contain recycled materials

Initially the William X. Wall Experiment Station’s goal was to obtain LEED Gold certification. During the project design it was concluded the design and amenities had the potential to surpass Gold and achieve platinum. The owners had a strong desire to meet the platinum status and establish a benchmark in the industry for future projects. As construction manager, O’Connor Constructors put forth best efforts to guarantee all achievable LEED credits were met. Through early planning and open communication amongst the project team, the design team designed the building to meet and exceed Green Building standards early in the conceptual stage rather than trying to transform a baseline building design into a green building design. This process was significant to achieving the projects sustainable goals.

LEED requirements were built into every subcontract and throughout the submittal process. O’Connor’s LEED accredited Project Engineer carefully reviewed each submittal to confirm the materials met the specifications, were accompanied by the necessary LEED documentation and demonstrated that the subcontractor understood the process. During the first submittal review, the Green Building Council responded with questions regarding design and construction credits. The construction and design team collaborated and responded to each credit question and with a first re-submittal The William X. Wall Experiment Station was successful in receiving approval for Platinum Certification.

This project is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s first laboratory to receive the highly regarded LEED Platinum certification. It is one of only 29 LEED certified buildings in Massachusetts. Nationally only 2% of LEED Certified buildings attain the Platinum level.

The William X. Wall Experiment Station is not only a LEED Platinum building, but an energy efficient building. The facility has a minimal ecological impact and utilizes its urban surroundings and enhanced indoor systems and will contribute to the comfort and well-being of the occupants within the state of the art laboratory for years to come.

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