Fitness Center Shapes Up As LEED Platinum

In Charlottesville, Va., the latest building to take LEED certification is the Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center. This 24,000-square-foot center, featuring two indoor pools, two water slides and various fitness classes and facilities, recently received certification from the U.S. Green Building Council at the Platinum level.

During construction of the building, 99 percent of all wastes were diverted from landfills, and high efficiency glazed windows were used throughout to bring daylight to 98 percent of all occupied spaces. A rooftop solar thermal system provides hot water for all those hot showers swimmers enjoy after a dip in the pool, and automatic faucets and low-flow fixtures reduce water consumption by up to 64 percent.

Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center

image via city of Charlottesville

The center’s two pools use  a combined ultra-violet and CO2 pool water treatment system to reduce the amount of chemicals used for pool maintenance. Thirty-one percent of all building materials were regionally sourced, “carefully selected for their recycled material content” and – fittingly enough, for a fitness center – their promotion of healthy indoor air quality.

Another notable green feature is the facility’s geothermal heating and cooling system, which – paired with a high-performing mechanical system – is expected to reduce the Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center’s heating and cooling bills by around 58 percent each year, compared to a conventionally heated and cooled building of similar size.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.