Burns & McDonnell has been awarded LEED Silver certification for existing buildings operations and maintenance by the U.S. Green Building Council. A separate LEED certification for new construction and major renovations is currently being pursued for the ongoing $25 million renovation of its world headquarters at 9400/9300 Ward Parkway.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Burns & McDonnell has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for existing buildings operations and maintenance (LEED O&M) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). A separate LEED certification for new construction and major renovations is currently being pursued for the ongoing $25 million renovation of its world headquarters at 9400/9300 Ward Parkway.
Burns & McDonnell is currently renovating and remodeling the 9300 wing of its Ward Parkway complex and constructing a new 450-seat auditorium. A number of sustainable construction practices are being incorporated in the project, including reuse and recycling of demolition and construction materials and use of environmentally friendly products in building materials and office furniture.
The award is the first published LEED O&M certification in Kansas City, Mo. LEED sets standards for design and performance in five key areas of environmental and health concern, including energy efficiency, water efficiency, use of materials and resources, sustainable site development and indoor environmental quality. LEED is the USGBC's rating system for designing, constructing and operating the world's greenest, most energy efficient and high-performing buildings.
"For Burns & McDonnell, sustainability means taking a balanced approach to meeting our economic, environmental and social responsibilities," said J. David Langford, vice president of the Environmental Group at Burns & McDonnell. "One of the key reasons we chose to pursue LEED certification was to help educate our clients and the overall community about practical applications for sustainable practices and to demonstrate how they can pay off for a number of business operations. We are very proud of this accomplishment and want to acknowledge that it never would have happened without the support of our building owner, The James Campbell Company."
The drive to obtain LEED certification began in 2008 when Burns & McDonnell launched a $1 million project to introduce sustainable features and practices throughout its operations, including investments to improve energy efficiency, indoor air quality and water conservation. A team of Burns & McDonnell employee-owners worked closely with the property management staff on projects to improve indoor air quality, increase energy efficiency, reduce overall water usage by more than 50 percent, implement green cleaning, integrated pest management and landscape management practices, and enhance purchasing and waste management.
The Ward Parkway complex currently has an Energy Star rating of 96 out of 100, meaning it performs better than 96 percent of similar buildings in this climate. This high Energy Star rating is a result of implementing several efficiency measures, including lighting retrofits and controls, removal of inlet vanes on air handling units, converting the hot water and chilled water systems to variable volume configuration, installation of two new condensing type boilers and decommissioning a low-pressure steam boiler. In addition to new equipment, operations of the facility were reviewed, equipment schedules were validated, and outside air controls were improved to minimize the energy spend without sacrificing proper ventilation and occupant comfort.
The sustainability project has included a number of educational demonstration pilots including the addition of a 5-kW photovoltaic system, a vegetated roof and a Smart Grid Laboratory with equipment used to test various new electric power delivery technologies.
"One of the goals of our sustainability project was to install and test a number of demonstration projects that have enabled us to make informed recommendations to our clients," Langford said. "We found that some technologies and systems have worked better than others and our clients have been able to benefit from this information."
One key feature of the sustainability project was construction of the Burns & McDonnell bioretention system on its 20-acre world headquarters campus. This holistic watershed management system consists of two large bioretention cells, bioswales, a rain garden and an in-ground StormTreat unit. The system captures approximately 7 million gallons of rainfall annually, or about 33 percent of the average annual rainfall. The system is designed to use the natural chemical, biological and physical properties of plants, microbes and soils to filter and treat pollutants carried in stormwater. The project has been utilized as a demonstration site for design and construction of similar green infrastructure areas being incorporated in Kansas City, Mo.'s, ongoing sewer overflow control project.
About Burns & McDonnell
Burns & McDonnell provides engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services to clients throughout North America and abroad. More than 3,000 engineers, architects, scientists, planners, estimators, economists, technicians and other professionals work in more than 30 regional, national and international offices. Founded in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is 100 percent employee-owned and is currently ranked No. 20 on the 2011 Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms.
About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is buildings and communities that will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations. Since USGBC's founding in 1993, the council has grown to more than 17,000 member companies and organizations; a comprehensive family of LEED green building rating systems; an expansive educational offering; the industry's popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (www.greenbuildexpo.org); a network of 78 local chapters, affiliates, and organizing groups; and was the founding organization of the 86-member World Green Building Council. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating SystemTM is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying green building prescriptive or performance criteria after meeting prerequisites and minimum program requirements. The six major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category, with bonus points awarded for credits given regional priority. LEED can be applied to all building types including new construction, commercial interiors, core and shell developments, existing buildings, homes, neighborhood developments, schools, healthcare and retail facilities. Incentives for LEED are available at the state and local level, and LEED has also been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org/LEED.