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The WOSU Headquarters in July 2021.

Awareness of sustainability was a key part of the design process of the WOSU Public Media headquarters. Smart planning and thoughtful use of resources provide an environmentally conscious design that impacts all levels of the building in a multitude of ways.

Building Design and Construction

Although the WOSU Headquarters was not submitted for LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), it was intentionally designed and constructed within the following LEED guidelines.

Location and Transportation

  • Access to Quality Transit: Functional entry of the project is within a ¼-mile (400-meter) walking distance of existing public transportation.
  • Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses: Building uses existing infrastructure in high density area; walkable location to many amenities.
  • Bicycle Facilities: Bicycle storage and changing rooms promote bicycling and alternate transportation opportunities and reduces vehicle use. Improves public health by encouraging utilitarian and recreational physical activity.
  • Reduced Parking Footprint: Minimizes the environmental harms associated with parking facilities, including automobile dependence, land consumption and rainwater runoff.

Sustainable Sites

  • Heat Island Reduction: The facility’s light-colored roofing system was considered to support Heat Island Effect principles and promote the reduction of elevated urban environmental temperatures.
  • Open Space: Created exterior open spaces that encourage interaction with the environment, social interaction, passive recreation and physical activities.
  • Stormwater Management: WOSU was part of a regional stormwater infrastructure project (funded by Campus Partners and the City of Columbus Division of Sewage and Drainage) that installed infrastructure to facilitate diverting 80 acres (14 acres were diverted with phases 1 & 2) of stormwater to a new dedicated stormwater system (existing stormwater flowed to the combined sewer). Phases 1 & 2 also included 2 regional large underground stormwater detention systems.
  • Sewer Management: Installed sewer lining on City’s sanitary sewers from 14th to 17th Avenues (including east/west mainline on the north side of WOSU) to rehabilitate the large existing brick (36″-72″) and clay (12″-15″) sanitary sewer systems in lieu of replacement.
  • Utilities: Part of a regional project that relocated all overhead utilities between 14th and 17th Avenues underground (increasing reliability and aesthetics). These projects also reconstructed all roadways, streetscape and utilities (including new site lighting, watermains, storm sewer systems, etc.).
  • Light Pollution Reduction: Minimal use of exterior accent lighting/up-lighting reduces light spill.Water Efficiency
    • Indoor Water Use Reduction: Specified sensor-operated and low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout the building.

Energy and Atmosphere

  • Minimum Energy Performance: Achieves a minimum level of energy efficiency for the building and its systems.
  • High performance window glazing exceeding energy code requirements.
    • Lower SHGC than ASHRAE 90.1 (2010)
    • Lower U-value than ASHRAE 90.1 (2010)
    • High VLT factor
    • High STC/OITC values – increasing acoustical comfort/performance
  • High performance envelope, which exceeds ASHRAE 90.1 (2010) requirements.
    • 6% better than code, according to COMCheck
    • Extensive envelope studies and detailing to help reduce air leakage

Materials and Resources

  • Collection of Recyclables: Receptacles provided for collection of recyclables throughout the building.
  • Long Term Commitment: WOSU will remain in the same location for at least 10 years.
  • Interiors Life-Cycle Impact Reduction: All furniture systems and ceiling systems contribute to the ‘Design for Flexibility and Disassembly’ criteria which states at least 50% of these items are demountable, expandable or convertible.
  • Material Ingredients: Most interior materials contain 10% or more recycled content, including ceiling tiles, ceiling baffles, carpet tiles, rubber wall base, toilet partitions, solid surface, concrete flooring and exterior brick veneer.

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • High environmental filtration is achieved with MERV 14 and maximum outside air supply
  • Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance: Contributes to the comfort and well-being of building occupants by establishing minimum standards for indoor air quality.
  • Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control: Smoking is prohibited inside the building.
  • Enhanced Indoor Air Quality: Filtration of recirculated air with UV filters for increased air quality.
  • Low Emitting Materials: The majority of interior materials have no or low VOC content, including ceilings, carpets, paints and coatings, wall base, FRP, vinyl flooring, porcelain tiles, adhesives and sealants.
  • Interior Lighting: Contributes through the specification of energy efficient lighting, appropriate color rendering and lighting/shade controls.
  • Daylight: Connect building occupants with the outdoors, reinforces circadian rhythms, and reduces the use of electrical lighting by introducing daylight into the space.
  • Quality Views: Provides occupants in the building with a view to the outdoor natural or urban environment for 75% of all regularly occupied floor area.
  • Acoustic Performance: Achieves levels needed for HVAC background noise and sound transmission between occupied spaces.
    • Acoustical analysis and material ¬selection promotes well-being through design for function of TV/Radio spaces, and in office and public spaces as well.

Innovation

  • Community Connection: Building serves as a space for community outreach and education.
  • LEED Education: Indoor building signage reflects LEED contributions to inform building inhabitants and visitors.

Sustainability Considered in Every Area

Broadcast

  • The Tech Core is powered using 208v distribution instead of 120v and the equipment therefore runs slightly cooler.
  • Batteries for portable equipment can be selected as green rechargeable instead of disposable.
  • All new studio lighting specified as LED low power draw/low HVAC load.

HVAC

  • The combination VRF and VAV System is approximately 25% more efficient than the LEED ASHRAE baseline system.
  • VAV rooftop units have variable frequency drives to meet energy code requirements.
  • Ductwork is oversized to keep air noise to a minimum and to help reduce energy costs for the building.
  • VRF condensing units are sized to provide partial redundancy to the studios.
  • Ductwork and piping are insulated to meet energy code requirements.

Electrical

  • Lighting Power Density = 0.9 watts/sf which is 12% better than code minimum performance.
  • Shared campus generator concept to reduce space requirements, capital costs and annual testing resources.
  • Generator meets or exceeds performance criteria for EPA Tier 2 emissions.
  • List UL 2085 fire-rated, heat-insulated, double-wall fuel tank for environmental protection.
  • Vault-mounted utility transformers and switchgear to maximize pedestrian circulation space.
  • Step-down transformers meet or exceed performance criteria for Department of Energy TP-1 low-load and no-load energy losses.
  • Uninterruptable Power Supply systems are 96% efficient in double-conversion mode and 99% efficient in eco-mode.
  • Emergency power generator provided with sound-attenuated housing rated 75 dBA at 7 meters to minimize impact on neighboring properties.

Lighting

  • Daylight harvesting is used to reduce electric light when daylight is available.
  • Vacancy and occupancy sensors are used to reduce energy.
  • The project incorporates primarily LED lighting throughout the building.
  • Preset lighting scenes in public areas respond to building activity through a timeclock.
  • High-color rendering index is used in public spaces to illuminate people and materials well.

Plumbing

  • Specified 1.6 gallon per flush water closet flush valves meet the current LEED baseline requirement.
  • Specified 0.125 gallon per flush urinal flush valves exceed the current LEED 1 gallon per flush baseline requirement.
  • Specified 0.5 gallon per minute public lavatory faucets meet the current LEED baseline requirement.
  • Specified 0.5 gallon per minute private lavatory faucets exceed the current LEED 2.2 gallon per minute baseline requirement.
  • Specified 2 gallon per minute shower heads exceed the current LEED 2.5 gallon per minute baseline requirement.
  • Specified Electric Water Coolers include bottle fillers.
  • Specified public lavatory faucets are sensor operated with automatic shut-off.
  • Domestic water supply for the building is provided with primary metering and secondary/deduct metering for site irrigation supply.
  • Specified building domestic hot water supply and return piping is fully insulated in accordance with Energy Code requirements.
  • Specified electric drive motors for all plumbing equipment is required to be provided in compliance with energy code requirements.

Landscape

  • Use of native plantings for all vegetated outdoor spaces.
  • Minimized use of turf grass which lowers maintenance and water needs.
  • Use of regional re-claimed pavers in Pearl Alley.
  • Sheet flow drainage in plaza reduces the need for inlets and storm lines. Direct sheet flow drainage to planting areas slows runoff.

WOSU thanks the team of partners who made this facility a special place to create and connect: