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November 2007

First green government office building in Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and state of Arkansas celebrated a sustainable construction milestone when the ADEQ’s headquarters was recognized by the Green Building Initiative’s (GBI) Green Globes environmental assessment and rating system for commercial buildings.

The building, which is the first green state government office building in Arkansas, was recognized for its water conserving features, such as low-flush toilets and water-saving fixtures on faucets, the minimization of air emissions and ozone depletion and the incorporation of site design and enhancement techniques to minimize the building’s environmental impact.

Green Globes for New Construction was adapted from a system that is widely used in Canada, where it is one of only two green building rating systems recognized by the Canadian federal government. Under the trade name Go Green Plus, it is also the basis of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada’s national energy and environmental program for existing buildings.

The new, six-story headquarters for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is near the Arkansas River and was constructed using materials sourced from local and regional vendors wherever possible. Materials had high recycled content and were highly recyclable, and were chosen with consideration of their life cycle assessment (LCA) results.

The main features of the 124,310-square-foot building include long north/south exposures which run parallel with the river and allow breezes off the water to help cool the facility, the storage and collection of recyclables to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, and the establishment of a 100 percent smoke-free campus which completely eliminates the harmful affects of second-hand smoke.