In the midst of separating from the Alberici enterprise and establishing itself as an independent company, Vertegy, LLC, helped reaffirm its position as a dominant force in the green building industry in 2013. The company’s award-winning sustainability consulting services last year alone helped 15 buildings in Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and overseas in Doha, Qatar, earn various levels of LEED certification, with 12 of those facilities earning LEED Platinum certification, the highest level offered by the US Green Building Council. Combined, the projects total 1.5 million square feet and are valued at $403,871,060.
Three of the projects Vertegy helped guide to LEED certification last year were located in the U.S. Those projects include Belle Valley Elementary School in Belleville, Ill., a new addition to the St. Louis Science Center in St. Louis and the Volkswagen South East Region Distribution Center in Lenoir City, Tenn. All three projects earned LEED Silver certification.
Belle Valley Elementary School, a new 193,734-square-foot state-of-the-art learning campus in the Belle Valley School District in Belleville, Ill., was certified under LEED for Schools v2007. The school serves Pre-K through eighth grade students and was built to replace an aging middle school and an elementary school that had, in recent years, been affected by mine subsidence activity. The project, valued at $28 million, consists of state-of-the-art classrooms, offices for administration and faculty, a cafeteria, a library, a gymnasium, a media resource center, outdoor athletic areas and parking and vehicular circulation. Sustainable features incorporated into the facility include expansive native plantings with outdoor classroom space, 40 percent reduction in potable water use, a highly efficient building envelope, diversion of more than 75 percent of construction and demolition waste from landfill and inclusion of low-emitting construction materials for improved indoor air quality.
Vertegy served as Alberici’s LEED consultant on the St. Louis Science Center addition, which was certified under LEED for New Construction v2009. Sustainable features for the three-story, 38,877-square-foot addition/exhibition hall include a green roof and terrace for outdoor exhibits and special events; energy-efficient and HVAC lighting, and environmentally friendly paints, adhesives, composite wood products and flooring. Approximately 40 percent of the materials used were from recycled content, and the project team was also able to divert 99 percent of all construction waste from the landfill. The construction value of the project totaled $9.5 million.
The Volkswagen South East Regional Distribution Center was certified under LEED for New Construction v2009 and was valued at $55 million. This building is the third Volkswagen facility Vertegy has consulted on. The other two, Volkswagen Academy and the Volkswagen Assembly Complex in Chattanooga, Tenn., were both certified at the LEED Platinum level in 2011. The new distribution center was built to support the multiple automotive dealerships that are located throughout the Southeast region of the United States. The 527,447-square-foot facility incorporates multiple sustainable features, including a compliant white roof to help reduce the heat island effect and increase the insulation value of the building, green space that is greater than 40 percent of the project’s site area, a highly efficient building envelope, onsite detention basins to accommodate storm water, native vegetation with drought-resistant characteristics, skylights to allow natural daylight into the warehouse area, and recycled and regionally sourced materials.
The 12 projects that Vertegy helped guide to LEED Platinum certification are part of a world-class student housing complex that sits on the 2,500-acre Education City Campus on the outskirts of Doha, Qatar. With a combined value of more than $311 million, the 808,000-square-foot student housing project features two separate housing units for 600 male and 600 female students, with each unit containing a community center and five residential buildings. State-of-the art sustainable technology and energy-efficient systems can be found throughout the complex. The students living in the units benefit from wireless computer systems and smart-room technology that allow residents to control temperature, lighting and music simply by entering the room. The building design also incorporates solar-paneled roofs, wind turbines that generate energy, recycled materials, and innovative stormwater and wastewater technologies. Vertegy served as the sustainability manager for the entire project, coordinating multiple design and construction aspects to ensure that the Qatar Foundation’s sustainability goals were met. The housing complex is currently the only LEED Platinum certified student housing complex in the world. It also boasts the highest concentration of those buildings to be independently certified LEED Platinum by the US Green Building Council.
“We are honored to have lent our expertise to the sustainable design of such a unique and diverse group of projects,” said Thomas Taylor, co-founder and principal of Vertegy. “We are excited to see so many of our projects achieve LEED certification during our first year as an independent company, and we look forward to what 2014 will bring.”