Chandler, AZ, a city of more than 230,000 residents, is part of the Phoenix metropolitan area. At once cutting edge and subdued, the city is a great example of how planners can merge historical buildings from an agricultural past with modern, eco-friendly design. Civic buildings in the downtown area include decades-old refurbished buildings and brand new facilities. The focus on green building in the city began in 2008, when the mayor and Chandler City Council adopted Resolution 4199, the Green Building Program. The Chandler Green Building Program has many facets, including purchasing green power for new and existing city buildings, building facilities to LEED Silver certification standards and educating the public about the importance of green building. It would be easy to write a separate article about each of the City of Chandler’s green civic buildings, but here is just a brief introduction to a few of the facilities: Chandler City Hall: The 120,000-square-foot building in the middle of historic downtown Chandler is built to LEED Gold certification standards. Chandler City Hall includes a greywater reuse system that gathers water from the cooling system to reuse in the facility’s toilets, a light-harvesting system to maximize the reach of natural daylight and an artistic shading system on the western and eastern walls to reduce temperature fluctuations with the rising and setting sun. Chandler Fire Administration: An 18,420-square-foot LEED Gold-certified building. While the building received certification under the LEED for New Construction rating system, the retro design features fit in well with the surrounding buildings. The facility was aiming for LEED Silver certification, but thanks to the use of locally sourced materials and recycling several tons of construction waste, the building reached the LEED Gold threshold. Chandler Boys & Girls Club: The youngest residents of Chandler get to spend their time in a LEED Silver-certified facility. Green features include occupancy sensors to control the lighting system and low-flow plumbing. Javelina Hall at Chandler-Gilbert Community College: This 3,700-square-foot classroom building received LEED for New Construction Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The facility features a 14.1-kW solar system, a high-efficiency HVAC system and water-smart landscaping. The Chandler Green Building Program goes beyond LEED certification, though. Recently, my children and I visited the main branch of the Chandler Public Library. The kids wanted to use the elevator, and my son noticed that there were LED lights inside the elevator instead of incandescent or fluorescent lighting. Little changes like this, when combined with the large changes supported by the Chandler Green Building Program, will benefit Chandler residents for decades to come.
Arizona City Commits to Green Building
The suburban setting of Chandler may seem like an unlikely place for eco-innovation, but this city is miles ahead of its neighbors when it comes to conservation.