FORTA Corporation has been a part of a variety of projects around the country that have been LEED® certified and conscious in their goals to contribute positively to the environment. Each project’s use of materials was taken into account, leading to efficient and cost effective green building materials and careful conservation of water and energy. FORTA’s help in constructing and reinforcing concrete in these environmentally friendly projects leads to the overall goal of “reinforcing a green future”. The more LEED® certified buildings the world constructs, the closer we are to living a greener life, based around protecting the environment, for years to come.
What is LEED?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design (http://www.concretethinker.com). The system is credit-based, allowing projects to earn points for environmentally friendly actions taken during construction and use of a building (http://www.concretethinker.com).
LEED® Certification Levels
- Certified 40 – 49 Points
- Silver 50 – 59 Points
- Gold 60 – 79 Points
- Platinum 80-110 Points
The FORTA Green Projects
FORTA Corporation is proud to have reinforced two LEED® certified buildings using our macro synthetic fiber, FORTA-FERRO®. Both of these projects worked towards using recycled building materials, less energy, less water, and more efficient systems throughout.
San Diego State University Student Union Building
San Diego, CA
San Diego State University was in need of a reinforcement method for a slab-on-ground and two slab-on-metal-decks, which included radiant heating/cooling systems for their Aztec Student Union building on campus. FORTA-FERRO® was chosen to reinforce each slab due to its ability to reduce cracking while creating an excellent finish. The fibers also allowed for the floors to have a beautiful grinded polished salt and pepper look (shown above).
San Diego State University’s Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union has achieved LEED Double Platinum status, joining an elite group of energy-efficient buildings around the world (http://newscenter.sdsu.edu). The newly earned LEED Platinum certification for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance comes just two years after the student union earned LEED Platinum status for new construction.
The student union, which was completed in 2014 with concrete slab-on-metal-decks reinforced with FORTA-FERRO®, features a “green roof” that helps reflect sunlight and heat away from the building; high-efficiency LED bulbs, solar panels, and low-flow faucets and toilets that use 40 percent less water than LEED baseline (http://newscenter.sdsu.edu).
Erie Art Museum
Macro synthetic fibers played an important reinforcing role in the $9 million expansion project at the Erie Art Museum in Erie, PA. The museum owner’s desired an eye-catching and joint-free polished floor surface for their 10,000 sq. ft. addition and used FORTA-FERRO® to reinforce the job. The museum parking lot was also paved using pervious concrete reinforced with FORTA Green-Net®, which is made from 100% recycled polypropylene, allows for storm water runoff and a more efficient percentage of interior vs. exterior lot usage. GREEN-NET® consisting of 100% recycled polypropylene fiber, made from post consumer polypropylene goods which would normally be disposed of in area landfills. Some of these materials include battery casings, netting, cargo bags, carpet face fibers, packaging film, label stock, strapping, drinking straws, and seed bags.
The new Art Museum building is Erie’s first LEED® certified building, and is setting an example by achieving a high scoring Gold level certification (http://www.evolveea.com). The pervious concrete parking lot combined with the sustainable use of polished concrete floors within the museum shoe areas, the Erie Art Museum project was the recipient of the 2010 World of Concrete GreenSite Award for Institutional applications and the LEED® Gold Certification.
Erie Art Museum’s Notable Green Building Features
- High-efficiency HVAC system with desiccant dehumidification projected to be over 35% more efficient than conventional systems
- Water efficient fixtures with usage expected to be over 45% more efficient than a conventional building.
- Native and adapted species have been selected for landscaping, completely eliminating the need for irrigation
- The project location in downtown Erie, PA is conducive to walkability and mass transit and acts as a center of engagement for the community
- Regional, recycled, rapidly renewable, low-emitting, and certified materials and wood were given preference in the product selection process
- The project is a skillful weave of a historic building into an expressive and dynamic architectural statement, all while allowing copious day lighting and compliance with high level museum standards