Together, we do the community justice.
       
 
Loading

ABLE:
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality on Facebook Advocates for Basic Legal Equality on Twitter Advocates for Basic Legal Equality on LinkedIn

LAWO:
LAWO on Facebook LAWO on Twitter LAWO on LinkedIn


Center for Equal Justice Building in Toledo Receives LEED Gold Certification

NOVEMBER 2, 2009

Center for Equal Justice Building in Toledo receives LEED Gold Certification

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO), the largest providers of legal aid in Ohio, are pleased to announce that their new headquarters in Toledo was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The Center for Equal Justice is the third LEED Gold Certified building in northwest Ohio, and one of 25 throughout Ohio. LEED certification is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.  The LEED system awards points for satisfying specified green criteria to address human and environmental health, including: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design.

"Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems," says Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. "The Center for Equal Justice project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come."

According to Paul Hollenbeck, AIA, architect and partner with The Collaborative Inc., "ABLE and LAWO’s commitment to downtown Toledo and LEED certification supports both the fabric of the community and our future economy." The Collaborative Inc., along with Willson Builders, JDRM Engineering, and LKL Engineers were partners in the renovation and in seeking LEED certification.
 

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO), the largest providers of legal aid in Ohio, are pleased to announce that their new headquarters in Toledo was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The Center for Equal Justice is the third LEED Gold Certified building in northwest Ohio, and one of 25 throughout Ohio. LEED certification is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.  The LEED system awards points for satisfying specified green criteria to address human and environmental health, including: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design.

"Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems," says Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. "The Center for Equal Justice project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come."

According to Paul Hollenbeck, AIA, architect and partner with The Collaborative Inc., "ABLE and LAWO’s commitment to downtown Toledo and LEED certification supports both the fabric of the community and our future economy." The Collaborative Inc., along with Willson Builders, JDRM Engineering, and LKL Engineers were partners in the renovation and in seeking LEED certification.

ABLE and LAWO purchased the former Western Union Building in downtown Toledo in October 2006.  Since then the law firms have completed renovations and a $6.1 million capital campaign to cover purchase and renovation expenses.  LAWO and ABLE operations moved into the building in April 2009.

"From the start, our number one priority in establishing the Center for Equal Justice was improved client access and services, and expanded community programming" says Kevin Mulder, executive director of LAWO. "Our focus on LEED certification came as we began our plans for renovation and realized the opportunity to extend our commitment to the community beyond just our legal work."

According to ABLE Executive Director Joseph Tafelski, "Our desire to remain in downtown Toledo and to have our new space environmentally friendly and green was a secondary goal that led to a number of financial investments in our efforts, including a successful Kresge Foundation challenge grant, and significant support from the State and Federal budgets."

LEED Gold certification is the culmination of 10-plus years of searching and planning for the future of legal aid in Toledo.  Together, architects for the project, The Collaborative Inc., and staff and board members from ABLE and LAWO analyzed nearly a dozen buildings prior to selecting the former Western Union building at 525 Jefferson Ave., directly across from what is now the location for the new Lucas County Multi-Purpose Arena.

"We purchased a building built in 1926, gutted the interior and preserved as many of useable features as we could, including the stairwell and elevator shaft," adds Tafelski. "We went with an open office environment in order to encourage our staff to build on the collaborative efforts of our two law firms and to provide for as much natural light as possible.”Some of the steps taken to achieve gold certification included:

  • Reuse of an existing building in downtown (this factor earned the most LEED points);
  • Location near mass transit and other services and businesses;
  • Sorting materials during demolition and construction (rather then send all of the demolished debris to the landfill, Willson Builders sorted out the recyclable materials);
  • 69 percent of the materials were manufactured within 500 miles of Toledo;
  • 29 percent of materials used have recycled content;
  • Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) finishes and adhesives promote better indoor air quality, meaning it does not have that “new building smell”;
  • Daylight reaches 75 percent of occupied space;
  • Light sensors and dimmers automatically turn off or lessen lighting when sufficient daylight is present;
  • New fiberglass replacement windows, manufactured by Comfort Line in Toledo, contribute to the high insulating value of the exterior walls;
  • New insulation in all exterior walls and roof;
  • White roofing material reflects sunlight, reducing air conditioning needs and heat island effect.

The Center for Equal Justice is the first project in a series of three anticipated LEED certified buildings in downtown Toledo in which The Collaborative Inc. is involved.  Other buildings also in pursuit of LEED certification are The Lucas County Arena (The Collaborative Inc & HNTB) and the United Way of Greater Toledo offices (The Collaborative Inc. and SSOE).

Willson Builders is currently working on two projects seeking LEED certification; the Reynolds Corners Branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and the University of Toledo Center for Business Learning and Engagement.