KCUR News
2:34 am
Mon November 19, 2007

Groundbreaking for Environmentally Friendly Tow Lot

Kansas City, MO – A groundbreaking ceremony takes place Tuesday for Kansas City's new $20 million abandoned car tow lot on about 20 acres east of I-435 and north of Front Street. It's one of the first projects the city has registered as a high performance green building, as KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

In 2004, officials in Kansas City passed an ordinance requiring all new municipal buildings be built to a green standard known as LEED, a building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. But there have been exceptions for projects already underway, like the Sprint Center. Dan Maginn, a principal with el dorado architects and president of the Kansas City Chapter of AIA, says the program establishes criteria for sustainability.

Dan Maginn: "Sitework, making sure your sites are sustainable and managed; water efficiency, energy efficiency emissions, materials, indoor air quality. Things like that. The nice thing about LEED is that it's verifiable; it's a third party system...an outside group takes a look at your project and judges how well you did."

There are several levels to LEED ratings from certified to silver to gold to platinum. The tow lot facility is required by city ordinance to meet a LEED-silver rating, but Maginn says his firm expects to exceed that and receive enough credits for a gold. City officials say other projects are underway that are expected to receive LEED certification, like the Southeast Community Center in Swope Park and the Black Archives. And an application is currently under review for LEED-certification for the Bartle Hall Ballroom. Laura Spencer, KCUR News.