The Memphis Area Transit Authority Airways Transit Center has been granted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification from Washington D.C.-based nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council.
The designation represents the first time a newly constructed, publicly-funded building has been granted the designation in Shelby County. The architect was brg3s architects, while Smith Seckman Reid Inc. was responsible for program management and LEED commissioning for the project.
The 30,000-square-foot MATA Airways Transit Center, which opened at 3033 Airways Blvd. in November 2011, serves as a major connection for bus passengers traveling east and west in south Memphis and provides better connections to the Memphis International Airport, which is less than two miles away.
It’s also the new Greyhound terminal for Memphis, replacing its decades-old home Downtown on Union Avenue.
Energy efficiency features of the center, which translates to lower operating costs, include a white roof that reflects sunlight and heat; less use of asphalt paving and the preservation of greenspace to reduce the urban heat island effect; energy efficient lighting, glass windows, and HVAC systems; water conserving fixtures and landscaping; and the use of recycled materials.
Other features include preferential parking for fuel efficient vehicles, bike racks, new sidewalks, a community conference room, food services, Greyhound Package Express and a light maintenance building for Greyhound.
“We are both pleased and proud that … we have been able to demonstrate this kind of leadership for all new construction in Shelby County and the City of Memphis,” said William Hudson, MATA president and general manager. “Great care went into developing this facility with maximum usability and minimal environmental impact in mind.”
The project also includes public art that was developed in collaboration with the Memphis Urban Art Commission and artist Walter Kravitz.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects recently recognized the MATA Airways Transit Center with a 2012 Design Merit Award for New Construction. The Transit Center was one of eight buildings unanimously chosen for recognition from a field of 70 submittals to the AIA Tennessee’s award jury.
Comments from the jury included: “This facility combines service for pedestrian, bike, public vehicles, bus travel and future light rail. The building’s main function serves as a shared waiting room for multiple transit-oriented tenants. The design goal is to serve as a catalyst for future transit oriented development. Retail, dining and recreational tenants draw in the public.”
Special recognition was given in jury comments for “roof lines definitely well considered, inside and outside relationships well done, and elegant as form study.”