The Old City Hall building at 600 E. Trade St. was constructed long before energy efficiency was a concept, let alone a discipline. Now, as part of the city’s drive to create sustainable facilities, Team Charlotte, led by the Engineering & Property Management (E&PM) department, is coming together for the LEED: Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M) certification of Old City Hall.
The LEED certification of Old City Hall will make it the eighth city facility to achieve this industry standard of sustainability and the first LEED O+M facility. By focusing on its operations and maintenance, the city helps ensure this older facility has reduced operational costs, increased efficiency and is more environmentally sensitive.
“The greenest building is the one you don’t have to build,” said Heather Bolick, energy and sustainability coordinator for E&PM. “By improving the energy efficiency, durability and environmental footprint of Old City Hall, we are making it built to last.”
On January 26, 1924, Charlotte City Council hired architect Charles Christian Hook for the construction of what was then known as Charlotte City Hall. Government agencies occupied the new facilities on October 30, 1925, and City Council held its first meeting there on November 1, 1925. The architectural importance of the building was codified on October 27, 1980, when City Hall was designated a historic property by Charlotte City Council.
The building still plays an important role in city government. It is home to several city departments, making it a place where public servants go every day to work for the betterment of their community. As such, proper stewardship and care of Old City Hall is vital.
How will the City of Charlotte accomplish LEED O+M certification?
The Building Services and Storm Water Services divisions of E&PM are exploring the possibility of retrofitting rainwater control measures, which could include a rain garden, pervious paving in the parking lot and a cistern that could be tied to the irrigation system.
Building Services and Charlotte Water will install sensors on existing water meters to get real-time data on water usage. This allows for quick identification of water leaks and helps identify opportunities for water efficiency improvements.
Building Services is also teaming with E&PM’s Landscape Management division to improve site management plans that will include native plants that naturally occur in the area’s ecosystem and will thus require less maintenance and irrigation. Native plants also balance the ecosystem, providing habitat for native fauna.
Building Services and the city’s Procurement Management office collaborated to purchase more environmentally friendly products such as green cleaning solutions, rechargeable batteries and green electronics, which will decrease contaminants in the environment.
Building Services will be installing an energy-efficient heating system to drastically reduce the amount of energy, and thus greenhouse gases, emitted from the building.
Building Services and the city's Sustainability Office are working together to implement rechargeable household battery stations and document 90 percent waste diversion from the building.
Building Services will work with the city’s Housing & Neighborhood Services department to create signage documenting the building’s sustainable features for community education. The community will be invited to tour the building once the LEED certification process is complete.