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Going for green — and getting gold

POSTED: April 28, 2011 7:14 p.m.

SAVANNAH—The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) certified Effingham County’s newly renovated courthouse as LEED Gold, the second highest rating possible. This means that the building was designed and constructed using materials, systems, and operations that reduces its impact on the environment and improves energy efficiency.

The courthouse was originally built in 1908 and was rededicated on Nov. 6, 2011. The design-build team was led by J. T. Turner Construction and architect Hussey, Gay, Bell and DeYoung, along with consultants GreenLine and Dulohery Weeks. This is the first renovated courthouse in Georgia to receive this respected designation.

“We join the residents of Effingham in honoring their past and being good stewards of earth’s resources,” said Robert Armstrong, the project architect with HGBD. “It’s a beautiful building that can be used for another 100 years.”

“It says a lot about the leadership of Effingham County that they placed a priority on sustainable design. Our entire project team was committed from the beginning to providing a sustainable building that will benefit generations to come,” said Tripp Turner of J. T. Turner Construction.

The courthouse houses the tax assessor, tax commissioner, district attorney and the GIS Department. The courtroom was restored to its original look and will serve as a community gathering space.

Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung is a multi-disciplined architecture and engineering firm with offices in Savannah and Gainesville, as well as Columbia and Charleston, S.C. Over the past 15 years, the firm has gained international recognition as one of Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms.

J.T. Turner Construction Co., Inc. is an award winning, family-owned and operated general contractor based in Savannah. The company specializes in custom residential, restoration, commercial construction, renovation and remodeling, and insurance restoration resulting from fire and water damage. The company is licensed to build in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida.

“We began this project with sustainability and lowering operating costs as one of our goals, the real benefactors will be the taxpayers from the energy and water savings,” Said county Commissioner Bob Brantley.

“We are very proud of the project, and to achieve this measure of success is wonderful,” added Commissioner Phil Kieffer.

Said Commissioner Reggie Loper: “The Board of Commissioners has been pleased about the entire project, the courthouse has been rehabilitated within the National Standards for Historic Preservation, to achieve Gold Certification on top of that is wonderful.”

Expected savings from LEED-related implementations include:

• 30 percent reduction in water usage

• 34 percent reduction in energy use with an estimated annual savings of $14,000

• Of the 574 tons of waste generated during demolition and construction, 490 tons were diverted from the landfill by means of material reuse and recycling

• Individual lighting and thermal control is used to minimize energy consumption

• Occupancy daylight sensors minimize energy usage

• Reflective roofing minimizes heat gain

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