MWA’s new LEED-certified Headquarters Facility consolidated three office buildings and 37 employees into one, 22,194 square foot administration building and a 6,296 square foot warehouse, improving agency efficiency and customer convenience. Construction was initiated in March 2010 and occurred during a time when building costs were at the lowest levels in many years. This economic climate was favorable for constituents whose tax dollars support MWA. Over $4 million was saved over the project estimate of $10 million in 2009 ($23 per square foot for 265,717 square feet of commercial land use). MWA has been setting aside money out of its operations fund to relocate and was able to pay cash without affecting water rates, stalling other capital projects or incurring debt. The new office was completed in May 2011.
Fast Facts About the MWA New Headquarters Facility
• Membranous "Cool-roof' Minimizes Energy Loss
• 265 Square Foot Area for Onsite Recycling and Waste Collection
• "Cool-roof' Minimizes Heat Island Effect
• 20% Recycled Building Materials
• Natural Indoor Lighting with Solar Tubing
• Over 20% Building Materials Manufactured Within 500 Miles of the Facility
• 258.4 kW DC Solar Panels on Feasible Surface Areas
• Green Power Purchasing Supplements 35% of Building Electricity Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 58 Tons per Year
• Energy Star Appliances
• Water Sense Plumbing Fixtures
• Un-conditioned Warehouse Ventilation
• Air Distribution Systems Managed to Avoid Contamination of Indoor Air Quality
• Low VOC Paint and Coatings
• Minimum Code Required 123 Parking Spaces Reduces Impermeable Surfaces
• 45% Permeable Open Space
• 1.7-acre Demonstration Garden
• Packaged HVA C Units Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 45 Tons Per Year
• Water Efficient Irrigation and Timers
• 90% Filtration of Impervious Runoff
• Low SHGC-rated Windows Reduce Building Cooling Load
Sustainable Building Features
• Energy Efficiency-20% increase over code requirements
• High Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures-40% water savings (over 300,000 gallons per year)
• Renewable Power Sources-Electricity use off set by "green" power
• Solar-Photovoltaic panels offset 70% of electricity needs (saving up to $46,000/year)
• Stormwater Management Practices-Retention ponds percolate storm flows on-site
• 90% of storm flows are infiltrated and cleaned on-site before percolation
• "Green" Building Materials-protects staff and public against exposure to pollutants
What is LEED Certification?
When a new building meets certain criteria in design, construction and operations, an application submitted for LEED certification can be considered by the United States Green Building Council.
LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design--it is a rating system with benchmarks for construction practices, water/energy efficiency & use, stormwater & pollutant best management practices, building materials & other areas where, when rated highly, can lead to building certification.
The LEED Rating System for this facility falls under the category for New Construction Version 2.2. LEED Certification in this category comes in either Platinum, Gold, Silver or Certified levels, providing an independent verification that the building project is environmentally responsible and a healthy place to live or work.
MWA's New Headquarters has attained enough points to achieve Silver Certification. There are some operational characteristics, like energy use and greenhouse emissions that, if monitored at low enough levels, may allow the building to be awarded a Gold Certification.
Water Use Efficiency
The Mojave Water Agency's commitment to conservation was integrated into the building design and included all plumbing fixtures and restroom devices.
High Efficiency Toilets use only 1.28 gallons per flush and flushing is done automatically with motion sensors, using 20% less water than the ultra-low flow toilets mandated by California Plumbing Code. Urinals only require one gallon per flush, or 33% less than the minimum as is required by Code.
Low flow showerheads are provided in employee locker rooms, designed to provide facilities for employees who bicycle to work. Faucets only run when motion sensors are activated and are designed to prevent leaks
over long term usage.
Being Energy Efficient and Using Solar Panels to Produce Renewable Energy
When energy efficiency means more than just changing out light bulbs, great strides in energy conservation can be made--energy efficiency was one of the goals of this project and is an example of MWA's commitment to environmental stewardship.
The New Headquarters Facility is helping decrease negative effects of transportation impacts by providing employees with bicycle access, storage and showering facilities within 200 yards of the main entrance. Hybrid or electric automobiles are encouraged through the provision of preferred parking for fuel efficient vehicles.
A comprehensive photo-voltaic system was installed, comprised of roof, carport and ground mounted panels that produce up to 70% of the facility's power needs. With 258 kW DC panels, the project was completed using some of the most advanced solar technology available.
Green power will also be purchased elsewhere to supplement approximately 35% of the building electricity in the first 24 months of operation. This supplemental energy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 58 tons per year.