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The newly restored Union Depot in St. Paul, Minn., has earned LEED® Gold certification for sustainability.Issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation is granted for achieving certain sustainable ratings for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of buildings. Union Depot was recognized for incorporating 21st century green building ideas during the renovation of the historic building, said Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA) officials in a press release."The LEED Gold designation is a challenge to attain on an older building, especially one on the historic register," said Rafael Ortega, chairman of the authority, which owns Union Depot."High levels of creativity were required to maintain the historical integrity of the building while modernizing it to be relevant for the next century," he said.From the inception of the work, an integrated design process was put in place by the RCRRA team in partnership with Mortenson Construction, the design build contractor; HGA Architects and Engineers, the architect and engineer on record; and URS Corp., the transportation design and engineering firm for the project.Key elements of Union Depot's LEED certification include building reuse; building material salvaging; asbestos abatement; construction waste management; connection to district heating and cooling; lighting control systems; and natural lighting optimization, RCRRA officials said.
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