Arrowhead Receives LEED Gold Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program awarded Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, Inc. Gold Certification on May 17, 2010.  It is the first LEED certified building in Cook County and

To achieve a LEED Gold rating, key areas of design and construction that reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and occupants were addressed.  These key areas include:

  • Sustainable site planning that decreased storm water runoff by more than 25%
  • Safeguarding water and water efficiency by reducing potable water use by 53% through the use of dual-flush water closets, ultra low-flow urinals, and ultra low-flow lavatories.
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy includes a ground source heat pump, solar hot water heating system, and daylighting of almost 80% of the occupied spaces to reduce the need for fluorescent lighting.  All occupied spaces have sensors to turn off the lights when not in use.
  • Conservation of materials and resources include the reuse of the existing building concrete shell, poured concrete walls with the use of fly ash instead of Portland cement, reclaimed tongue and groove paneling from the old building, installation of recycled glass countertops, reclaimed Douglas Fir for trim and the ceiling in the main lobby, cork flooring, recycled plastic carpeting, and recycled rubber flooring.
  • Indoor Air Quality that is increased by more than 30% from pre-construction and the use of low emitting materials in adhesives, paints and sealants used during construction.
  • Innovation in Design includes a green housekeeping program and a member outreach program.

The addition and remodeling of the Arrowhead headquarter facility consisted of the remodeling of the original building to better serve its original function as a warehouse space along with an addition to serve the office and support functions of our operations.  Over 75% of the original building structure remained intact.  The goal for the entire project focused on utilizing LEED standards as a tool for all parties involved and to provide an outreach program to Arrowhead’s members.  The entire addition and remodel was designed around a member showcase area and an open layout where the public is welcomed to experience firsthand the variety of systems and resources utilized.  This includes materials reuse, recycled materials, energy efficient heating/cooling systems and light fixtures, and the use of natural lighting and ventilation.

Facilitating the design of the headquarters was Architect, Melissa Graftaas, AIA, ARA, LEED® AP of Architecture Advantage, LLP in Duluth, MN.  This was the firm’s first LEED® project and is the first to be certified while they currently have another in the review process.  The general contractor for the project was Johnson Wilson Constructors of Duluth, MN with main subcontractors, Stout Mechanical of Duluth, MN and Belknap Electric of Superior, WI.

Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, Inc. was formed in 1953 after purchasing the Lutsen Light & Power Company generating station.  That generating station built sometime around 1936 was dismantled and became the office/warehouse/garage until 2007 when construction began.

Arrowhead has a little over 4000 accounts in Cook and part of Lake County.  It requires Arrowhead to operate and maintain over 375 miles of overhead distribution line and 190 miles of underground distribution line. Our Mission Statement is “Through the power of human connections, we will provide quality utility services in a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally safe manner”.  The LEED Gold certification helps us to fulfill part of that mission.

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