Architecture & Design, Construction, and Food Service & Agriculture

Downtown Market wins gold

August 7, 2014
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The second floor of Downtown Market in Grand Rapids contains more than 16,500 square feet of education space, including classrooms and an incubator kitchen. Photo via fb.com

The Downtown Market is now one of the first urban markets in the country to be LEED certified.

The market said yesterday that it has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The council’s LEED rating system is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

Firms

The Downtown Market was designed by Hugh A. Boyd Architects and Progressive AE in Grand Rapids and built by Pioneer Construction in Grand Rapids.

Catalyst Partners in Grand Rapids managed the LEED-certification process.

“From the beginning, sustainable design was a primary driver for the Downtown Market,” said Craig Nicely, architect, Progressive AE. “Materials were re-claimed and recycled, efficient systems were meticulously designed and innovative products were incorporated. Together, these and many other components make the Downtown Market a sustainable showpiece for Grand Rapids and greater community beyond.”

Sustainable project

Energy efficiency and environmental sustainability have been a goal of the Downtown Market, which opened one year ago, since it was conceived.

Materials from warehouses previously on the building’s site were re-used to build as much as possible of the market.

The massive wood beams from the original structure were used as the design feature in the main structure, and the pre-existing concrete was ground up to make the paving material for the Downtown Market’s parking lot.

Downtown Market features a number of green-building features: a 4,000-gallon rainwater harvesting tank, which provides irrigation for greenhouse plants; rain gardens; a green roof for on-site storm water management; 50 geothermal wells around the property that help supply two-thirds of the building’s heating and cooling needs; LED lighting, which is 90 percent more efficient than halogen lighting; ultra-efficient heat pumps and water-cooled compressors that help create a comfortable and cost-efficient indoor environment year round; and energy-efficient walls, roofs and windows that reduce demands on heating and air conditioning.

“Building operations are nearly 40 percent of the solution to the global climate change challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council.

The sustainable design is also advantageous to market vendors, helping to keep operating costs down.

Pilot credit

Downtown Market also said it's the first market to receive an urban agriculture credit, a pilot-stage credit awarded under the LEED program.

Pilot credits are qualifications that are being tested to see if they fit into the overall rating system.

The urban agriculture credit is a one-point credit awarded to projects that improve human health and well-being, community involvement and education on food production.

To earn the urban agriculture credit, a project must meet certain requirements: allocating a certain amount of square footage to be used for growing space; using organic growing practices; an integrated pest-management system; and allowing community access for education and use.

“Sustainability, community health and accessibility to local food is the goal of the Downtown Market," said Mimi Fritz, president and CEO, Downtown Market. "We are proud to continue these practices on a daily basis.” 

LEED building in the Grand Rapids area

LEED-certified projects have a long history in Grand Rapids, with many of the city’s businesses and nonprofits earning program firsts.

No. 1 in LEED-certified buildings per capita for mid-size U.S. cities (2010)

No. 5 in LEED-certified buildings per capita for all U.S. cities (2010)

World's 1st LEED Gold art museum, Grand Rapids Art Museum

World's 1st LEED-certified YMCA, Downtown YMCA

World's 1st LEED-certified transit station, The Rapid Central Bus Station

World's 1st LEED-certified school, Goodwillie Environmental

World's 1st LEED-certified Habitat for Humanity Home

World's 1st LEED-certified residence, St. Anthony of Padua rectory

World's 1st LEED-certified church, Keystone Community Church

World's 1st LEED-certified health care project, Lacks Cancer Center

World's 1st LEED Double Gold building, East Hills Center of the Universe

World's 1st LEED-certified municipal building, Water & Environmental Building

World's highest LEED rating, Catalyst Partners/M Retail Solutions, 2012

Source: Experience Grand Rapids

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