LEED Gold Certified OCL Building at Newburyport WWTF
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the City of Newburyport initiated an upgrade to its wastewater treatment facility. As part of this project, a new Operations, Control and Laboratory (OCL) Building was constructed. Now officially certified as LEED Gold under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program administered by the US Green Building Council, the new OCL building was designed to fit architecturally into the surrounding neighborhood and incorporate LEED principles. It is one of the first LEED Certified buildings of its kind.
The WWTF Improvements Project design was completed under a fast-track schedule to take advantage of construction phase state/federal funding sources, including the Massachusetts State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding program, and the Green Infrastructure Reserve fund.
The site is located at the mouth of the Merrimack River and abuts an estuary, plus is located on a filled salt marsh. Historic activities at the site have led to site contamination due to leaking underground storage tanks and piping. These unique site, environmental and geologic conditions, led to some challenging site conditions as they pertain to implementing LID practices.
In order to reduce run-off volume, stormwater from the building roof was collected in an underground concrete cistern and used for irrigation of lawn areas. Installations of native shrubs, trees and other plantings suited for this coastal environment were used. Access roads used for plant operations on site are concrete open graded pavers planted with grass. A suitable area for infiltration was identified on site. The stormwater treatment system included two bioretention basins, one which has to be lined to prevent infiltration through impacted soils. The underdrain from the lined bioretention basin and the overflow from both basins were routed to an infiltration system consisting of concrete chambers under the parking lot.