Arkansas DEQ Goes Green

Staff | September 28, 2010

Little Rock, Ark.— Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and state of Arkansas celebrated a sustainable construction milestone when the ADEQ's Headquarters was recognized by the Green Building Initiative's (GBI) Green Globes™ environmental assessment and rating system for commercial buildings.

GBI president Ward Hubbell presented Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe and ADEQ Director Teresa Marks with a plaque recognizing the building's rating of three Green Globes at an open house. The building, which is the first green state government office building in Arkansas, was recognized for its water-conserving features, such as low-flush toilets and water-saving fixtures on faucets, the minimization or air emissions and ozone depletion, and the incorporation of site design and enhancement techniques to minimize municipal buildings across the country.

The new, six-story headquarters for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is near the Arkansas River and was constructed using materials sourced from local and regional vendors wherever possible. Materials had high recycled content and were highly recyclable, and were chosen with consideration of their life cycle assessment (LCA) results. Life cycle assessment considers materials over the course of their entire lives and takes into account a full range of environmental impact indicators — including embodied energy, solid waste, air and water pollution, and global warming potential.

The main features of the 124,310-square-foot building include long north/south exposures which run parallel with the river and allow breezes off the water to help cool the facility, the storage and collection of recyclables to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, and the establishment of a 100-percent smoke-free campus.

To achieve a verified rating, the team from TME, Inc. used the Green Globes tool to assess and rate the building, which was then verified by a third-party building science expert who reviewed the construction documents and conducted an on-site inspection.

"The ADEQ's new headquarters represents an earnest pledge to environmentally sound design, construction and operations in Arkansas," said Jay Holstead, sustainability consultant, TME, Inc. "However, this effort extends beyond the architects, engineers, contractors, and ADEQ management to include the efforts and support of the GBI. Through their Green Globes system, we were afforded opportunities to address and enhance both our approach and the final product."

The ADEQ Headquarters is just one of the buildings that has completed certification in the United States using the Green Globes system. Others include: the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Ark.; Blakely Hall in Issaquah, Wash.; the Pfizer Inc. Clinical Research Unit in New Haven, Conn.; the RenewAire, LLC corporate headquarters in Madison, Wis.; and the Materials Recovery Facility in Summit County, Colo.