The Weather Channel is First Media Company to Build Stand-alone 24/7 Studio to Certify for LEED for New Construction
The Weather Channel has achieved a Gold LEED®-New Construction certification by implementing many innovative strategies and tactics in the construction of its new earth-friendly HD broadcast facility. Just two examples of these pioneering initiatives are the use of heat from studio lights to warm the building and an underground pond which pumps out water only when nature itself doesn't send rain to irrigate the landscape.
The Weather Channel received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is the USGBC's leading edge system for designing and constructing a sustainable, energy efficient, and high performing building.
"The decision by The Weather Channel to demonstrate environmental leadership in the workplace has its roots in the position we took several years ago on climate change and our resolve to do everything we can to protect the environment," said Debora Wilson, president and CEO of The Weather Channel Companies. "Constructing a new facility that is environmentally responsible sends a strong message about our commitment to helping people learn more about these issues. We are pleased that our efforts were so successful that we qualified for this great honor," she added.
The achievement of LEED Gold certification by The Weather Channel demonstrates tremendous green building leadership," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The urgency of USGBC's mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and The Weather Channel serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish."
Construction for the 12,500-square-foot facility, which adjoins the company headquarters, began in May of 2007 and was completed in January of 2008. The new studio's design and construction feature a variety of environmentally-friendly elements that include:
- Energy Conservation. Heat generated from the studio lighting was handled in a way to eliminate the need for a building-wide heating system. The building is designed to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent compared to buildings of similar size and function. The roofing system reflects 90 percent of the suns rays, thus lowering the air conditioning usage. When air conditioning is required, a high efficiency variable drive air handler reduces the energy use. All common areas are controlled by a programmable lighting controller or motion sensors.
- Weather Sensitive Irrigation System. A 75,000 gallon underground retention pond that stores the water collected from rainfall which supplies the landscape irrigation system. The system monitors the weather conditions for expected precipitation to determine when the landscape needs to be watered.
- Controlling Energy Costs for Shipment of Materials. Nearly a quarter (in cost) of the building materials were manufactured within 500 miles of The Weather Channel, reducing energy required to ship to the jobsite. Over 225 tons of steel and cement were furnished by nearby suppliers.
- Recycling of Materials and Resources. Over86 percent of all construction waste (steel, aluminum, cement, stone etc.) was recycled thereby diverting it from landfills. Of all the building materials selected and installed on the project, over 20 percent (in cost) were manufactured with pre- and post-consumer recycled content.
- Water Conservation. In addition to the energy efficient irrigation system, The Weather Channel installed automatic faucets and flush valves in the restrooms to reduce water consumption.
- Reduced Carbon Footprint. To counterbalance the energy needed to light a 24/7 television studio, The Weather Channel entered into an agreement with Renewable Choice Energy to purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) that will offset 35 percent of the electricity usage in the new studio over the next two years.
- Indoor Air Quality. Products low in volatile organic chemicals (VOC), such as paint, adhesives, sealants and carpeting, were selected to minimize pollution to air and soil. To eliminate all remaining VOC's, an entire building flush-out was performed prior to occupancy. To guarantee high indoor air quality, the air is double filtered through the mechanical systems.
Out of the 1,200 total LEED-certified projects in the U.S., only about 320 organizations have received LEED Gold certification for New Construction certification since the system was established in 2000. The Weather Channel is one of just 10 organizations in Georgia to achieve the Gold LEED-NC ranking. According to the LEED Project Directory, The Weather Channel is the only media company to achieve LEED Gold certification for New Construction for construction of a facility that houses a broadcast studio dedicated to 24/7 live TV presentation.
Architectural services were provided by Vocon Architecture of Cleveland, OH. URS Corp., of Columbus, OH and Atlanta, GA, provided civil, structural, electrical and mechanical engineering services for the project. The general contractor for the construction of the new facility was Brasfield & Gorrie of Atlanta, GA.
More information is available online about the new LEED-NC Gold certified building. To take a virtual tour of the studio, go to http://climate.weather.com/info/leed/
And to see the "High Def Done in Green" video about the HD studio, go to http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid823503751/bclid1465431813/bctid1568198642
About The Weather Channel Companies
The Weather Channel companies (TWCC) are made up of The Weather Channel® television network, The Weather Channel digital properties, and WSI. The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and is seen in more than 100 million U.S. households. TWCC also operates Weatherscan®, a 24-hour all-local weather network; The Weather Channel Radio Network; and The Weather Channel HD. The most popular source of weather news and information, TWCC properties reach 60 million monthly Web consumers (weather.com and Desktop) and 32 million monthly mobile users (mobile Web and applications) and offers the second most popular mobile app on all smartphones. WSI, headquartered in Andover, MA, primarily provides business-to-business weather services, particularly for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors. TWCC is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, visit www.weather.com/press.