LEED Platinum — Prairie Village’s new public works building on track to earn rare eco-friendly distinction

LEED Platinum

The new Prairie Village public works facility is nearing completion, and is on its way to achieving LEED Platinum certification, the highest possible rating for measuring a building's environmental impact.

Prairie Village’s public works department is eager to move into its new $10 million facility at 3535 Somerset Drive. 

The new building, which replaced the decades-old facility at the same location, features a solar panel array, state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems, a washing bay for trucks, a garage with several ports and more.

As final touches are being made, the new facility is on its way to achieve Leadership in Environment and Energy Design, or LEED, Platinum certification — the highest rating possible for measuring a building’s environmental impact.

After a year-and-a-half of working out of an old structure on the property — and watching as the new building went up — Public Works Director Keith Bredehoft said temporary furniture will be moved into the facility in August.

This will allow employees to begin working out of the building without waiting on furniture supply chain delays, he said.

“We’ve been all over the place for a year,” Bredehoft said. “It’s going to be really nice for them to be in one place again and functioning normally.”

PV public works charging station
One of the contributing factors to the LEED Platinum certification — which is still in progress — is the electric vehicle charging station that is open to the public.

Melissa Prenger, senior project manager, said the building needs to earn 80 points to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

Below is a breakdown of the five areas that contribute to those points and the overall LEED certification:

  • Location and transportation: The building earns points for having bicycle storage and public electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Water efficiency: The building also gets points for a rainwater collection system — which provides water to flush toilets. There are also native plants that require no irrigation and fixtures and appliances that, coupled with the rainwater collection system, are expected to result in a 76% water use reduction in comparison to similar sized buildings.
  • Energy and atmosphere: The building has checked off five of eight items needed for points in this category, and is working on the three others. Elements from this category at the new facility include a solar panel installation and LED lighting.
  • Materials and resources: This category is also in progress, but Prenger said “the team has been able to divert 88% of construction waste to the landfill.”
  • Indoor environmental quality: The building features materials in its flooring, wood products, ceiling and insulation that emit relatively levels of potentially harmful chemicals, earning it points in this category.
PV public works washing bay
The new washing bay for public works trucks at the Prairie Village facility.

The new facility features a number of other aspects that will make public works operations more efficient, the city says.

These features include:

  • A washing bay that can fit the department’s largest trucks, allowing crews to efficiently clean them on a regular basis.
  • Storage space for seasonal equipment and overflow.
  • Enough office space for both crews and public works administration to work out of the same building.

Additionally, there is a gender-neutral locker room, men’s and women’s restrooms that double as tornado shelters and a mother’s room that will feature a mini-fridge, chairs and an ottoman.

Bredehoft said the facility should be fully furnished and operational in September, but that is subject to change.

The city is planning to host an open house for the facility, likely after Labor Day, he said.