Government
2:03 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Johnson County Public Works Adds Two Green Buildings To Its Fleet

A year ago this month, Johnson County, Kan. officials broke ground on an environmentally friendly $11.5 million public works complex in west Olathe. The new buildings were dedicated on Wednesday at a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

"Here we go. Ready? 1, 2, 3, cut!"

Johnson County officials – past and present – lined up in an orderly row to mark the official completion of two sleek public works buildings.

Designed by 360 Architecture, Inc. and built by McGownGordon Construction, LLC., one 23,300-square-foot building will house office and operations and the other, a 22,250-square foot building, will be used for fleet maintenance. 

The new complex replaced an aging facility, in use since 1966. Director of Facilities Joe Waters says the county takes pride in constructing and operating sustainable buildings. 

"From a building performance perspective, there are few public works facilities that compare to these two (public works buildings)," says Waters.

"A ground source heating and cooling system, abundant natural light, a well-constructed tight building envelope are important pieces of the puzzle that result in not just in improved quality of the space but in a projected 45 percent lower energy consumption than a standard building."

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is expected to recognize the project with a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. The county already has LEED Gold buildings and one certified LEED Platinum.

Also on site, a newly completed public art project, only the county's second, called "Adaptation." It's a large-scale kinetic sculpture by Kansas City artist Matthew Dehaemers who used materials such as stainless steel, hydaulics, bearings, and yellow paint. The $130,000 work was funded by the county's 1 percent for art program established in 2007.