Move Over Canada, the United States is Taking Back the LEED

Independence StationDockside Green is the current world record leader in the LEED sustainability rating. The master-planned development is in Victoria, British Colombia and received an unprecedented rating of 63 points out of a possible 70. While this is a tremendous feat, Aldeia, LLC decided it was time an American structure took the world record from this Canadian project. I mean it has had the title for about a year now, and that’s long enough. So, nestled in the little pioneer town of Independence, OR, you’ll find Independence Station currently under construction, which plans to take the top LEED rating from Victoria Dockside with a LEED score between 64 and 66.

The potential score of this sustainable green building is primarily due to its use of renewable energy sources like the sun and vegetable oil. These two sources will supply the entire building with energy. The building will boast a unique 120 kilowatt installation of photovoltaic panels. During sunny months, the panels will produce more than enough energy to run the building, store extra energy in a large battery bank for nighttime use as well as feed power back into the grid. With this innovative energy source, Independence Station is also likely to be the most comprehensive “Smart Grid” project ever built.

On days when the sun isn’t exactly at its brightest, the building will rely more on a biodiesel-fueled cogeneration and thermal storage system, including a retired tug-boat engine affectionately named Mabel, which will serve as a backup and run on waste vegetable oil from local restaurants. Radiant floor heating and cooling, displacement ventilation, solar water heating, day lighting design, an ice-based cooling storage system, water based ground source heat pump, and extensive use of light-emitting diodes are some of the systems that minimize Independence Station’s “off the grid” energy consumption.

There is no doubt this mixed-use development will be breaking many green building records. The 57,000 square foot building will house office space, retail space, a restaurant, research facilities, a Direct Current power based data server room, classroom space and 15 residential units. It’s truly an all-purpose building and we are excited to watch its progress as a worldwide leader in green building.

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