As a green city hall and the first commercial project in Kenmore to earn LEED certification, the Kenmore City Hall is a model for Kenmore’s future downtown and shoreline developments. The 37,000 square foot building has council chambers, a community room and offices and a large site area for possible future expansion. Although the building opened in 2010, the official LEED Gold Certification was awarded to the City in early 2011.
During the initial planning, the team focused on green design and set a goal of LEED Silver certification. O’Brien & Company conducted an early green design charrette and a presentation to the City Council to confirm three project goals:
- Environmental responsibility, especially protecting Lake Washington
- Responsible use of public funds
- Be a leader for future development
As the project progressed, it became clear that the focus on sustainable design was likely to result in a higher level of certification within the existing budget. Changes in construction costs allowed alternates like a solar array to be installed and more aggressive stormwater management to be employed. O’Brien & Company worked throughout design and construction to guide implementation of the green building strategies, and provided assistance on developing an education plan to fulfill the City’s desire to pass on the knowledge of their new green building.
The key to achieving the green building goals of the project was good, green design. This included features like daylight design, raised floors, water-efficient plumbing, energy efficient lighting and controls, and extensive use of green building materials. A rain garden, the 4500 sq. ft. vegetative roof and a permeable-concrete parking lot minimize run-off, reducing the demands on the city’s stormwater infrastructure and Swamp Creek. The solar panels on the roof will provide at least 2.5 percent of the building’s energy. View their solar dashboard online. Sustainable features also earned the project conservation grants from Puget Sound Energy and a King County award of $25,000.
With this certification, Kenmore joins a half dozen other Washington State cities with LEED Gold city halls.
Photo credit: Graham Syed photography