RNL Design

South Bend Public Transportation Corporation (Transpo) Facility is first Administration, Maintenance and Operations Facility in the U.S. to achieve LEED-NC Platinum

The Emil 'Lucky' Reznik Administration, Maintenance & Operations Facility has been certified LEED Platinum for New Construction (NC) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction. RNL, in association with Forum Architects of South Bend, Ind., and Maintenance Design Group (MDG), designed the Reznik Facility for the South Bend Public Transportation Corporation (TRANSPO).

Dick Shiffer, AIA, LEED AP, RNL, principal and transportation market lead, expressed his enthusiasm for the Reznik Facility saying, "this is the first Platinum certified structure of its kind because our South Bend Public Transportation Corporation-client created an environment that empowered the team to design a sustainable, functional facility that will benefit and educate the public while establishing a safe and comfortable space for employees."

The Reznik Facility achieved 52 LEED points, including those for site selection, energy, materials and resources and innovation. At 164,200 square-feet the facility is designed to embody the natural connection between sustainability and public transportation. The Reznik Administration, Maintenance and Operations Facility provides expansive, daylit spaces, promotes transparency and works to diminish the boundaries between the interior and exterior. By embracing daylighting the design reduces the need to expend energy to provide artificial lighting and a ground source heat pump system, which uses the ambient temperature of the Earth, supplies heating and cooling to all regularly occupied administration, operations, and maintenance office areas.

To compliment the many sustainable features in the Reznik Facility and to promote facility and community education, a digital display inside the lobby provides up-to-date information about the amount of energy the building is creating from its 92 kW photovoltaic roof panels. The system also tracks the amount of potable water saved from water-reducing lavatory fixtures and the facility's recycled-water bus wash system, as well as the amount of storm water that has been detained on site.

This new era was articulated by the client. Transpo wanted the facility to exemplify the interaction between program, function, iconic design and sustainability while highlighting the transportation services they provide to the citizens of South Bend and Mishawaka.

"We wanted to be leaders, not followers", said John Leszczynski, chairman of the board for Transpo, "without forsaking the site's rich history."

In response to the client's directive, the design team worked to create a productive work environment while engaging the user and the public in an educational dialog about the environmental benefits of sustainable architecture and public transportation. The team chose materials and building systems based on program and functional requirements with the need to balance transparency and durability to create a signature facility. The site was once home to Studebaker's manufacturing operations and the Reznik facility's 50-year-plus lifespan design mirrors the Studebaker—vehicles prized by collectors for their high level of design and quality.

The Reznik Facility is one of 35,000 projects in all 50 states and 91 countries participating in the LEED system, comprising more than 4.5 billion square feet of construction space. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is the preeminent program for rating the design, construction and operation of green buildings.