Old Florida Train Depot Gets New Eco Friendly Makeover

One of the oldest, most beloved buildings in Gainesville, Florida — the historic Gainesville Depot, listed on the National Register of Historic Places — has undergone a major green renovation. The idea here was to restore the 1860s-era train station to its original splendor while helping to assure it a long, energy-efficient future.

The building renovation, which is expected to take either LEED Gold or Platinum certification, was designed by architect Bert Bender of Bender and Associates Architects (best known for his work on Key West landmarks such as the Custom House). Superintendent Coley Pitt of West Construction spearheaded the construction efforts, making use of Goodwin Heart Pine Company’s reclaimed longleaf heart pine wood throughout the building, as well as other recyclable and/or reclaimed materials like copper gutters and downspouts and restored doors, windows and millwork.

Gainesville Historic Depot

image via Goodwin Heart Pine Company

Other green features of the renovation include a dual plumbing system that makes use of reclaimed water and a dual-layer, radiant barrier foam and sheet insulation in the attic. In another mark of responsible green renovation, a comprehensive waste management and recycling program was in place with the project from day one, and continued throughout the construction and operations of the building.

“This innovative project sets the pace for other green building projects across the state and even nationwide,” said Carol Goodwin, CR, MCR, President of Goodwin Heart Pine Company and Board Member for the USGBC – Heart of Florida Chapter, in a statement. She goes on to notes that her company hopes the model used for the Gainesville Depot will be replicated with other historic rehabilitation projects across the U.S.

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.

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