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MassDOT Research, Materials Lab Is LEED Gold Certified

Thu March 15, 2018 - Northeast Edition #6
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MassDOT Research and Materials Lab in Hopkinton.
(Bruce T Martin photo)
MassDOT Research and Materials Lab in Hopkinton. (Bruce T Martin photo)

MassDOT announced that the MassDOT Research and Materials Lab in Hopkinton has been nationally recognized for its environmentally-friendly features.

This MassDOT facility, designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects and constructed in 2016, has achieved MassDOT's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification due to its many amenities including, sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, renewable materials selection and high indoor environmental quality.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to reducing greenhouse gases and one way this can be achieved is by taking steps when transportation infrastructure improvements are made,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “MassDOT's state-of-the-art research and materials lab has many environmentally-friendly features including approximately 500 kW of Solar-Carports; about 40 kW of Rooftop PV; and south-side self-tinting windows that limit over-heating in the summer and winter and increase energy efficiency while making the workplace more comfortable for people inside.”

Other “green” features of the first MassDOT facility to receive LEED Gold certification include porous pavement to allow runoff of site rainwater to directly recharge the water table, two dual-port Level-II electric vehicle charging stations, and a PV system that is expected to generate about 675,000 kWh's per year. This is a value equal to about 75 percent of the facility's projected annual demand.

“MassDOT is proud to receive this distinction and be a participant in the USGBC LEED green building rating system,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We are pleased that our commitment to building sustainable infrastructure and helping safeguard our environment for the current and future generations is being recognized on a national level.”

At the MassDOT Research and Materials Lab, MassDOT personnel test and approve products incorporated into highway division construction projects to ensure conformance with plans and specifications. The facility performs tests regarding concrete, soils, asphalt, chemicals and other physical materials and is responsible for more than 500 ongoing construction projects at any given time.

MassDOT is continuing to implement measures to increase climate resiliency and climate adaptation following Gov. Baker's signing of Executive Order 569. The order, which builds on the Baker-Polito Administration's nation-leading efforts to reduce emissions, lays out a comprehensive approach to further mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth.

MassDOT is currently undertaking several climate focused initiatives including conducting a Statewide Vulnerability Assessment, a Coastal Transportation Vulnerability Assessment, and developing comprehensive plans for bicycle as well as pedestrian transportation. MassDOT is also constructing its new Highway District 3 Office in Worcester as a Zero Net Energy facility.

The LEED program has helped establish a nationwide standard for constructing green buildings. LEED's certifications help ensure that a building is designed and operating to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.

Obtaining LEED certification requires compliance with a minimum number of criteria affecting many aspects of a project, from site selection to the recycled content of building materials. There were more than 167 countries and territories with LEED projects as of late last year, and more than 961 certified state government projects in the United States.

The official LEED Scorecard of the MassDOT Research and Materials Lab outlines the areas assessed by USGBC.