Blake Transit Center Receives United States Green Building Council’s  LEED Gold Certification
Samantha Potter
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Blake Transit Center Receives United States Green Building Council’s LEED Gold Certification

ANN ARBOR, MI –  The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is proud to announce that the Blake Transit Center, which opened in March 2014, has been officially certified as a LEED Gold building by the United States Green Building Council. This certification represents TheRide’s ongoing dedication to sustainability.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings, according to the United States Green Building Council (The Council). To receive certification, the project is reviewed thoroughly by a committee and is given points based on several areas that address sustainability issues. The Council identifies LEED-certified buildings as efficient in that they use less water and energy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Because of these sustainable attributes, LEED-certified buildings also save money.

“It is a very rigorous process to achieve LEED Gold certification and the team, made up of the architectural firm DLZ, construction manager Spence Brothers, and TheRide that worked diligently throughout the project to select appropriate and sustainable materials and systems making sure necessary testing and verification was completed,” TheRide’s Manager of Maintenance and the Blake Transit Center project manager Terry Black, said. “Extensive documentation was assembled during the design and construction phases to meet the United States Green Building Council’s stringent requirements,” Black added.  

Several elements were incorporated into the Blake Transit Center design to ensure it is sustainable and contributed to the LEED Gold certification; local and renewable materials were selected including, high efficiency heating and lighting systems, and the roof storm water runoff is collected for “gray water” use, such as flushing toilets. In addition, materials from the former transit center building were recycled for use in the Blake Transit Center’s construction. The site also includes a sustainable snowmelt system that heats the driveway and sidewalk to melt snow, reducing the amount of plowing and salt needed, lessening the amount of salt discharged into the storm water system.

TheRide Board Chair, Eric Mahler applauds the organization for their dedication to sustainability, “The team has been working towards this certification since the beginning of the building design development. The dedication of the team to ensure that all steps were taken to complete the certification is commendable. This certification demonstrates the organization’s strong commitment to serving both the needs of our direct patrons and the larger community through our sustainability policy.”

The Blake Transit Center goes beyond The Council’s LEED Gold certification and complies with guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and utilized federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) programs. The American Public Transit Association also recently recognized the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority with a Gold medal for its sustainability efforts.

The latest information on TheRide’s routes, schedules and detours is available in the Ride Guide, at (734) 996-0400, and on TheRide.org.

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