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Sustainable Springfield Inc. (SSI) is an environmental grass roots organization that promotes and inspires sustainable solutions by our local governments, the business community, and Springfield area citizens through education, networking, and collaboration.

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Erin’s Pavilion, Springfield’s Next Sustainable Building

Last Wednesday’s (9.24.08) presentation at Sustainable Springfield’s monthly meeting featured a power point along with material samples for Erin’s Pavilion, now under construction. The site is the new Southwind Park located on South Second Street, just south of I-72, and is being built and maintained by the Springfield Park District.

David McDow, an architect from Walton & Associates aptly presented the features of the building’s design in terms of how it will be designated as a US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadreship Energy and Enivironment Design) rating of platinum, the highest designation that can be achieved.

The project is a 15,000 sq ft structure designed to employ “universal design” which means that the building is completely handicapped accessible. The projected cost of the building is $4 million and is the first of several structures to be built.  Its completition date is July 2009.                                                                   

Birds eye view of the park
Birds eye view of the park

Also planned for the park are a new Boys and Girls Club, for which a Federal Grant of $800,000 has been pledged for the project. Another project proposed is the “Kidzeum” children’s museum for which $1.25 million has been pledged by St. John’s Hospital.

The Park District has applied for and received grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. One for photvoltaic solar panels, $135,000 and another for an electrical generating wind turbine $150,500. Both installations will be sited in other areas in the park.

Construction Features

Erin’s Pavilion construction eco-friendly design includes several sustainable and energy savings features, which when taken in total will earn the LEED platinum rating:

  • Recycled gypsum wall board for interior partition construction
  • Recycled plastic used for toilet partitions
  • Agri-fiber (wheat stalks etc.) manufactured doors
  • Recycled cardboard “Paper Stone” manufactured counter tops
  • Light weight fiber & concrete panels “Tectum” roof/ceiling structure
  • T5 & T8 energy savings fluorescent lighting
  • Occupancy sensors to regulate lighting & heating/cooling systems
  • Geothermal heat exchange to cool the building in the summer & heat during colder months with heat sink in the park’s lake.
  • light colored TPO, thermal plastic overlay roofing better to reflect the sun’s heat
  • Linoleum flooring in lieu of vinyl
  • Cork wall coverings
  • Use of low VOC (volitale organic compounds) for paints and adhesives
  •  The use of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) utilized for exterior wall construction.
An example of ICF concrete wall forms
An example of ICF concrete wall forms
  • These forms have rigid insulation on both the inner and outer surfaces with metal bracket separation that hold steel reinforcing. This construction provides an R22 wall as opposed to a R7.6 required by code. Thes form are constructed in sections much like logo blocks.   

Energy Savings

The projecten energy savings for this building per year are estimated to be below $1.00/square foot at $.39/square foot. The standard estimate for standard non sustainably built buildings is $4.00/ square foot.

LEED Building Costs vs Standard Construction Costs & Project Team Approach

When asked about the cost difference between a LEED building construction vs a non-LEED constructed building, Don Walton the firm’s principal said that there was little cost difference. Given that this structure was planned as a high quality structure, the cost difference is minimal. With a lower standard of construction, however the cost of a LEED building would be greater. 

Mr. McDow emphasised that it was very important that a team be assembled  that is dedicated to the LEED system beginning first with the building owner. The architect’s brought together a consultant group team of specialized firms including Vertigy, a St. Louis based LEED consultant.

Posted by Jim Johnston

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