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Alaska Railroad's Freight Shed renovation earns LEED designation


The Alaska Railroad Corp. has received Silver LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the railroad's renovation of its 74-year-old Freight Shed.

The shed is the first historic building in Alaska renovated to meet the council's stringent standards for the Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, Alaska Railroad officials said in a press release.

Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, the Freight Shed was built in 1941 primarily with a heavy timber frame over a raised concrete floor. It allowed the railroad to double freight tonnage in its first year of operation and was used through 2008 to store customer goods.

Coordinated with the Alaska Office of History and Archeology, the renovation project included site improvements, utility upgrades and selective demolition of the 36,000 square-foot structure, as well as a new raised and heated walkway for pedestrian access and installation of curb and gutter.

The core-and-shell improvements include reinforcement to the structural supports, roof and wall systems, as well as upgrades to mechanical and electrical systems. These renovations fall under the LEED "core and shell" category, and design and construction activity must meet stringent LEED standards for site sustainability, water efficiency, energy conservation, material reuse and indoor environmental quality, Alaska Railroad officials said.

Representatives of the railroad and U.S. Forest Service, who have been building tenants since 2012, will have a formal unveiling and presentation of the Silver LEED Certification Award on May 27.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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