The City of West Des Moines Historic City Hall located at 137 5th Street has been designated by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as having achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating of Platinum. LEED Platinum is the highest LEED rating designated by USGBC. The LEED rating system, developed by USGBC, is the principal program for buildings, homes, and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

The City of West Des Moines acquired the Historic City Hall in 2007 and set about rehabilitating it as a demonstration project incorporating several sustainable building techniques, making use of fifteen different grants. Funders include: the City of West Des Moines, Historic Valley Junction Foundation, Iowa Department of Economic Development Main Street Office, Iowa Great Places, I-JOBS, Iowa Office of Energy Independence, State Historical Society of Iowa, United States Department of Energy, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The building received geothermal wells, photovoltaic panels, added insulation, new doors and windows, new mechanical and electrical systems, LED lamps, a green roof, and water efficient plumbing fixtures. The project introduced some unique features by reusing existing materials for new uses, reducing the amount of material that goes into the landfill, and reducing the demand for new material. Existing window sashes were refinished and are now suspended as decorative ceiling “clouds”. The original tin ceiling panels were reused for the frame around the bathroom mirrors and signage. The large exterior doors once used for the fire truck entrance are now functioning as interior doors for the classroom space and the arched transom that was sitting above those doors is now being used to let daylight into the upper floor restroom. The Historic City Hall has become so efficient that in April 2012, the first full month of net metering, the building’s total energy use was 305kWh or $30.54.

The Historic City Hall project has previously received three other awards and recognitions.

 Preservation Iowa’s 2011 Preservation at its Best – Sustainability in Preservation award;

 The Center of Sustainable Communities’ 2012 Environmental Impact Award – Built Environment – Commercial Project

 2012 Main Street Iowa Design Award – Total Rehabilitation.

“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Redrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The West Des Moines Historic City Hall project efficiently uses our natural resources, and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come”.

Built in 1905, the Historic City Hall building is one of the strongest visible reminders of where the City of West Des Moines, formally known as Valley Junction, began and is now home to a visitor center, meeting space and the offices of the Historic Valley Junction Foundation. This is a public building and a demonstration project where opportunities are provided to residents and visitors to learn about sustainable strategies within a beautifully renovated turn of the century building. The West Des Moines Historic City Hall is the second building in Iowa to become LEED New Construction version 2009 Platinum Certified and has the unique distinction of being the first building in Iowa to be on both the National Register of Historic Places and to be LEED NC v2009 Platinum Certified.

There will be an open house and reception at the current City Hall located at 4200 Mills Civic Parkway from 5:00-5:30 on June 10th. Following the reception there will be a presentation of the LEED Platinum plaque to the City Council.

LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 44,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries.