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Van Buren LPOE earns LEED Gold certification

New Land Port of Entry, Van Buren, MaineThe newly constructed Van Buren Land Port of Entry (LPOE) in Maine has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The port was completed in 2013, after the 40-year-old facility, which occupied a small site adjacent to the new port, was severely damaged by flooding in the spring of 2008.

Instead of repairing the former LPOE, GSA took the opportunity to provide Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with a new, energy-efficient, high-performance facility.

“In his day, President Van Buren was a staunch proponent of the monetary gold standard as a way to sustain the national economy. I imagine he would be delighted to know this building has achieved a new gold standard designed to sustain both our economy and our environment for future generations,” said Regional Administrator Robert Zarnetske.

Located on a site overlooking the St. John River in northern Aroostook County, the LPOE was built using an insulated pre-cast concrete wall system, which made the structure incredibly sustainable in terms of energy usage. Additionally, the facility is heated by a ground-source geothermal heating system, utilizes a solar hot water system for sinks and showers, solar tubes for daylighting interior rooms, and radiant floor heating.

The LEED performance credit system aims to allocate points based on the potential environmental impacts and human benefits of each credit.

Under the LEED system there are 110 possible base points across six different categories:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental
  • Quality Innovation in Design

The energy model used to judge the facility’s performance showed that the LPOE exceeded GSA’s requirement to be 30 percent better than the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standard for energy efficient designs in buildings.

Van Buren received a total of 66 points, which qualified it for the LEED Gold Certification. The Region now has 19 LEED certified owned buildings in its inventory.

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