Located on the site of an existing sewage treatment plant, the 20,000-square-foor LOTT Clean Water Alliance provides wastewater treatment services to four local communities and focuses on community outreach. The LEED Platinum–certified facility includes a renovated 7,700-square-foot water-quality laboratory, a 21,300-square-foot office, and a 3,500-sqaure foot education and technology center.

A reclaimed water pond embraces the building’s south and west sides and is designed to engage visitors as they enter the building and pass over two bridges that span the pond. Inside, the pond continues as a primary design element.

To address energy use, the west and south façades are outfitted with external motorized louvers that, on a typical sunny day, deploy at solar noon and adjust throughout the day to prevent direct sun from penetrating the envelope. In the winter, the system harvests daylight to heat interior spaces. The north end of the building connects to an existing structure that was renovated to house a laboratory and lunchroom; the the east side holds core functions. Nearly all of the building spaces have access to views thanks to narrow floor plates, with all interior spaces less than 30 feet from exterior glazing. Private offices are equipped with operable windows to allow for natural ventilation.

The facility provides Class A reclaimed water to the public for use in toilet flushing and irrigation, and sustainable strategies on site are designed to reduce potable water use by 80 percent over a baseline building. In addition to the reclaimed water feature, the building also eliminated the use of potable water for irrigation and utilizes low-flow and ultra-low-flow plumbing fixtures. Methane generated from the plant’s waste treatment process is used in a cogeneration plant to provide electricity and heat, which is used through a low-temperature water loop connected to water-source heat pumps. As a result, the facility reduced its CO2 emissions by 35 percent and its energy use by 42 percent.

By the numbers:

Building gross floor area: 32,483 square feet
Number of occupants: 28 (plus 200 visitors)
Percent of the building that is daylight: 77
Percent of the building that can be ventilated or cooled with operable windows: 45
Total water used, indoors and outdoors: 346,884 gallons per year
Calculated annual potable water use: Zero gallons per square foot per year
Total energy (MBtu per yr): 996
EPA performance rating: 91
Percent total energy savings: 59
LEED rating: Platinum, LEED-NC v.2.2

For more information on each project, including extended slideshows, click on the individual projects in the sidebar at left. To access a database of past Top Ten projects, visit aiatopten.org. ECO-STRUCTURE will be covering the 2011 COTE Top Ten projects in depth in its July/August issue.