June 28, 2018
Last week we got the good news that the Illinois Tollways M-7 Vehicle Maintenance Facility in Rockford, Illinois was certified by the United States Green Building Council as LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold. This building is the second site to be addressed in a system-wide Tollway maintenance facility program being planned, designed and engineered by Epstein. The first facility, the LEED Gold M-1 in Alsip, Illinois, was completed in 2015.
Illinois Tollway M-1 Vehicle Maintenance Facility - Alsip, Illinois
The M-7 facility is comprised of an approximately 165 by 400 maintenance building, which provides for 35,000 square feet of truck and equipment parking and a welding shop; 6,500 square feet dedicated to parts, storage & management offices; a storage mezzanine; and a functionally connected six-bay truck maintenance garage of some 8,500 square feet. In addition, the facility has an administrative support area of 6,000 square feet that houses an independent Illinois State Highway Patrol facility and Tollway driver support, a space that includes locker rooms and a break/small assembly area for daily and emergency storm logistic briefings. Site design reconstruction for M-7 also included fuel island upgrades, and an equipment building to support a communication tower.
In addition, to help reduce the highly aggressive corrosive impact of 24/7 snow removal and rescue activities, M-7 has an independent-free-standing truck-wash facility on site constructed with similar pre-cast materials as the maintenance facility.
The building also features many sustainable design elements, which led to its LEED Gold certification, including a rooftop photovoltaic array which supplies supplemental electricity. Skylights and punched openings in the pre-cast wall panels utilize translucent, insulating glass and polycarbonate panels to provide abundant natural day-lighting. The high-bay maintenance portion is also naturally ventilated with operable windows.
Lastly, the 193 kilowatt (kW) solar array on the roof is designed to produce an estimated 251,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each year, which is almost $20,000 worth of electricity. And, most importantly, this solar array will significantly reduce emissions to the equivalent of 40 cars per year or the burning 204,000 lbs. of coal.