MassDEP recently led the way in environmental sustainability when it was announced that the renovated Senator William X. Wall Experiment Station in Lawrence had earned the Commonwealth’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for a state facility. LEED Platinum is the highest possible designation, and the lab is one of only a handful of LEED Platinum-certified labs operating around the world today.
In 2011, a $30 million upgrade transformed the environmental laboratory into a state-of-the-art “green” building that is able to handle the complex testing protocols required by today’s environmental laboratory sciences.
During the LEED Platinum announcement held at the facility, MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell said the designation shows that the agency and its lab “walk the walk” when it comes to sustainable development. “With its solar panels, rain-water recycling and electric-vehicle charging stations, this laboratory is a model for other facilities yet to come,” Kimmell said.
Other LEED Platinum updates include: use of rain gardens and detention basins for better stormwater management, water-efficient landscaping, optimized energy savings designed to reduce energy use by 21 percent, and windows that allow daylight into 75 percent of the space.
The Wall Experiment Station is Massachusetts’ principal drinking water laboratory. At the facility, 15,000 lab analyses of contaminants in water, wastewater, air, soil, hazardous waste, fish and other samples are performed annually. There are currently 29 LEED-certified buildings in the state portfolio of buildings, 28 of which were certified since Governor Patrick took office.
For more information on the Wall Experiment Station and its LEED Platinum certification, go to: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/news/releases/first-leed-certification-at-state-facility-massdep.html .
The Wall Experiment Station also recently earned a 2013 Leading By Example Award from the Patrick Administration for its LEED Platinum designation.
In 2007, Governor Patrick established the Leading By Example Awards, directing state agencies to improve energy efficiency, promote clean-energy technology and reduce their environmental impacts. This effort calls on state government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and reduce energy consumption at state-owned and leased facilities by 20 percent.
The programs efforts have resulted in an increase in the amount of installed solar at state facilities from 100 kW in 2007 to more than 7 MW in 2013 and an increase in the amount of installed wind at state facilities from 660 kW in 2007 to nearly 11 MW in 2013.
For more information on the Leading By Example Awards and the Commonwealth’s efforts to significantly reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions while increasing recycling and renewable energy implementation, go to: http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2013/energy-enviro-initiatives.html .