American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Inside and Out, ASHA's new Headquarters Focuses on the Environment

From design to construction, ASHA committed itself to producing an environmentally-friendly National Office. Every detail focused on a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in 5 key areas of human and environmental health:

  • Sustainable site development
  • Water savings
  • Energy efficiency
  • Materials selection
  • Indoor environmental quality

With the construction of this new building, ASHA has become a true pioneer in regard to environmental sustainability. As such, we have been recognized as the first non-profit association to have a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified green building designation in Maryland history.

Our goal was to develop a visually stimulating and healthy facility that would foster a productive and creative work environment while remaining committed to the global environment. The new building not only benefits staff but serves as an example for guests and the community. Signs are posted throughout the interior and exterior of the office to educate and remind individuals about the benefits of a green building.

Green Building Process

The five-story office, designed by Boggs and Partners Architects and built in partnership with James G. Davis Construction, Forrester Construction, and AtSite Real Estate, has 133,870 square feet of space and features a number of innovative design and environmental aspects.

To support the regional economy and reduce the environmental impacts of construction, ASHA incorporated over 64% of regionally manufactured materials, as well as over 77% of regionally extracted or harvested materials.

During the construction of the building, more than 75% of the construction, demolition, and land clearing debris was diverted away from landfills by redirecting materials to recycle and reuse facilities.

Green Attributes found in ASHA's new National Office

Energy savings

  • The HVAC system, coupled with higher efficiency glass and lower energy light fixtures, yields a 23% energy savings
  • White roof reduces cooling costs by more than 11% compared to a black roof
  • Occupancy sensors turn the lights off when space is unoccupied, reducing electricity consumption

Water efficiency

  • The use of water-efficient shower heads, lower-flow sink fixtures, and dual-flush/low-flow toilet fixtures and urinals yields a 42% reduction of water use

Indoor environment quality

  • The facility is smoke-free, both inside the building and on the exterior of the property
  • The HVAC system utilizes high-efficiency MERV-13 filters
  • The copy center has a dedicated exhaust system, isolating any fumes from the rest of the building
  • Walk-off mats (up to 35% recycled content) inside entrances help limit pollutant contamination of the building
  • The building has a carbon dioxide monitoring system

Daylighting and views

  • Over 70% of the regularly occupied spaces receive natural light
  • 90% of the regularly occupied spaces have direct outside views

Recycled content products

  • Terrazzo flooring, located in the main lobby and countertops throughout the building, is "green" in its durability, composition and recycled content
  • Flooring in the fitness and group activity rooms is made of recycled rubber
  • Carpeting is made of 35% postindustrial and 10% postconsumer recycled materials
  • Linoleum flooring (50% postindustrial recycled content) is a rapidly renewable material manufactured from cork, wood flour, and linseed oil
  • Quarry tile (17% postindustrial and 17% postconsumer recycled content) is used in the restrooms and locker rooms
  • Structural building materials include structural steel (80% postconsumer), steel joists (79% postconsumer), metal decking (43% postindustrial), and cast-in-place concrete (75% postconsumer)
  • Finish materials include gypsum board (95% postindustrial) and millwork/wood panels (100% postindustrial)
  • Building accessories, such as bicycle racks (50% postconsumer), restroom partitions, and mirrors (20% postindustrial), are made from recycled materials
  • Acoustical ceiling tile is manufactured from cornstarch made of U.S. grown corn and recycled content materials
  • Recycling efforts have been integrated into ASHA's facility management practices by dedicating a space in the building to the collection and storage of recyclable materials

Wood products

  • Plywood, millwork, doors, lockers, and benches are made of materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which encourages environmentally responsible harvested products
  • Paneling and doors were manufactured regionally
  • Architectural millwork and cabinetry are constructed of bamboo (a rapidly renewable, fast-growing grass that can be harvested in 3-5 years)
  • Cork flooring (a rapidly renewable product harvested from the bark of the cork tree)

Irrigation

  • Condensate water from the HVAC system is used for all irrigation, and no potable water is used
  • Local drought-resistant vegetation is planted throughout the grounds

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