Prairie Village’s new public works facility awarded highest green building certification

Prairie Village Public Works

Prairie Village's public works building, above, is officially LEED Platinum certified. Photo credit Juliana Garcia.

Prairie Village’s public works building is officially certified Platinum by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, the only building in the city to achieve that designation from the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council.

Why it matters: LEED certification is a globally recognized standard created more than 20 years ago by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council that rates structures’ environmental sustainability, and Platinum is the highest LEED certification a building can achieve.

Driving the news: Prairie Village’s new public works building officially received the Platinum certification on July 20 — three years after the city set forth the goal of achieving that designation.

  • According to the USGBC’s online search tool, it’s one of six projects with a LEED Platinum certification in Johnson County, including a private residence in Leawood and the Johnson County Criminalistics Laboratory.
  • It is the only LEED Platinum-certified building in Prairie Village.

Key quote: “We’re leading,” Mayor Eric Mikkelson said at the Aug. 1 City Council meeting. “We’re leading the region, we’re leading the nation with this project — and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Background: Prairie Village first laid out the goal to achieve Platinum in Sept. 2019.

  • The city council at that time directed city staff to start researching the LEED Platinum certification for the rebuilding of the city’s aging public works building.
  • Public works staff worked in an old structure on the property for more than a year-and-a-half before moving into the new building
  • The new building opened one year ago.

How Platinum is measured: In order to earn LEED Platinum certification, there is a minimum requirement of 80 points for various aspects of the construction and building itself.

What goes into it: Below is how the city’s public works building earned enough points to get Platinum certification, per the city’s website.

  • Energy and atmosphere — 30 credits for efficient LED lighting, solar photovoltaic roof panels and a 78% modeled energy cost savings.
  • Indoor environmental quality — 11 credits for low-emitting material installation for healthier indoor air quality, interior lighting and thermal control.
  • Material and resources — 10 credits for diversion of 88% of construction waste from landfill and a reduction in global warming, depletion of non-renewable energy sources and more.
  • Regional priority — 10 credits for location and transportation credits like green vehicles and bicycle facilities, as well as innovation and design credits like water use reduction and green building education.
  • Water efficiency — Nine credits for water use reduction methods like the rain garden and native plants, as well as a water metering credit.
  • Location and transportation — Eight credits for bicycle storage, electric vehicle charging stations and for construction on the same site as the old public works facility.
  • Sustainable sites — Four credits for light-colored roof material, which reduces the “heat island effect,” as well as light pollution reduction.
  • Integrative process — One credit for the designer, construction team and city brainstorming and developing “ways to achieve high-performing systems,” according to the city website.