City awarded for ‘green’ fire station

SAN MARCOS — The city of San Marcos announced that it has been awarded LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC, for its new Fire Station No. 4. LEED is the USGBC’s leading rating system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy-efficient buildings.
San Marcos Fire Station No. 4 is one of just five LEED certified fire stations in the United States.
A special award was presented to City Council by Fire Chief Todd Newman at the start of the City Council meeting Feb. 10.
“I am proud to accept this award from the USGBC on behalf of our community,” Mayor Jim Desmond said. “This ‘green’ fire station is a tremendous example of how we can make an immediate, positive impact on our planet by efficiently using our natural resources.”
The city’s newest fire station was designed by WLC Architects 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 before awarding its certification.
“The city of San Marcos’ LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of the USGBC, said. “The work of innovative building projects such as San Marcos Fire Station No. 4 is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”
Topping the list of LEED achievements is the station’s photovoltaic system, which produces up to 90 percent of the building’s power needs. Seventy-five percent of the building has daylight access, which reportedly saves a tremendous amount of energy in itself.
The building’s water efficiency also plays a large role in the gold LEED designation. Water efficient landscaping is used throughout the site and plumbing fixtures are designed to reduce water consumption by 20 percent.
Indoor air quality for the station is superior due to the use of low vapor-emitting materials like adhesives, sealants, paints, carpets and composite wood. Additionally, many of the materials used for the station were derived from recycled materials.

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