Hamilton County has been awarded LEED Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its Business Development Center. LEED is the USGBC’s leading rating system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy efficient, and high performing buildings.
Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said the LEED certification is representative of Hamilton County reestablishment as a technological center. “The Business Development’s Center’s legacy is of a manufacturing facility. When the county began operating the facility as a business incubator in partnership with the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, we knew we were growing a new breed of entrepreneurs. Now we have a LEED Silver certified building that matches the vitality and ingenuity of our 55 business tenants and their 400 employees.” Mayor Coppinger also pointed out with pride 92 percent of the BDC’s clients are in business for at least five years. This success rate is higher than the 87% national average.
Hamilton County Engineer Todd Leamon is proud to learn of the LEED Silver Certification. The building underwent a yearlong 4.9 million dollar renovation under Leamon’s direction. “When you are dealing with a building of age like the Business Development Center and have the opportunity to renovate it through partnerships with the EDA (US-Economic Development Agency) and HUD (US-Housing and Urban Development), you are determined to rebuild it to a standard that generations to come will look at with pride,” he said.
Mayor Coppinger also remarked about the savings the restored Business Development Center will provide for taxpayers. “Not only are we investing in future jobs and prosperity in Hamilton County with our efforts at the BDC, but the green efforts undertaken at the BDC will save taxpayers money through decreased utility bills.”
The Business Development Center was designed to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. LEED verifies environmental performance, occupant health and financial return. LEED was established for market leaders to design &construct buildings that protect and save precious resources while also making good economic sense.
“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO & founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Hamilton County’s Business Development Center is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”
LEED certification of Hamilton County was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include: the replacement of the entire roof system, installation of energy efficient industrial windows, upgrading and renovating the BDC’s electrical system, new energy efficient lighting, the renovation and updating of communication and data systems, replacement of two passenger elevators, and the updating of fire protection sprinkler systems, controls and connections.
The Business Development Center project was designed by Neuhoff Taylor Architects, PC and constructed by Construction Consultants, Inc.