When designing and planning for their new City Hall, Bowie’s main goal was to pursue energy efficiency and LEED certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building certification program that is transforming how buildings are built and operated around the world. By achieving LEED certification, Bowie City Hall would be recognized as a best-in-class development by the U.S. Green Building Council. To earn this honor, the building must pass and excel in inspection of six categories; sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design.
Not only did the city wish to gain LEED certification, they also wanted a customized color of stone that exemplified the city’s rich history.
As the need for environmental responsibility has grown, Reading Rock has applied resources to produce products of not only the best quality but products that are also best for our environment. Reading Rock proudly supports the fundamental values of green design and building. Bowie was provided local products that used recycled content. Reading Rock uses bi-products of other resources as additive in stone, limiting the amount of natural resources extracted from the Earth. All products for this project were excavated and manufactured within a 500 mile radius of the project site. This cut down freight costs and other negative environmental impacts related to transportation.
Reading Rock leads the way in implementing new green practices and uses low albedo in mix designs to obtain a lighter color palette, reducing the heat island effect. The light reflective quality of Reading Rock’s stone, as well as the naturally occurring color series, made it a perfect choice for Bowie. To deliver a unique color that Bowie could call their own, Bowie Blend was created. Bowie Blend, a modification of the Savanah shade, is a 4-color blend generated to match a sample of Earth extracted from Bowie.
With help from Reading Rock’s LEED certified team, Bowie achieved their goal when the new City Hall earned LEED Gold Certification. Through innovative design and material combination, Bowie was able to save $10M in construction costs. City Hall was made with more than 20% recycled material, including reprocessed masonry and veneer products. In March of 2013, Bowie became the eighth city in the state to become Sustainable Maryland Certified in part because of City Hall’s Gold Certification.