Coyote Ridge is First Prison of Its Kind

Aug. 20, 2010
This correctional facility received LEED Gold and will save $370,000 per year on energy costs.

The Coyote Ridge Correction Center in Connell, WA has become the first prison campus to receive LEED Gold certification. The $230 million expansion of the facility was completed in 2008 after the state Legislature mandated that the facility comply with LEED Silver standards.

“We did better than we hoped,” says David Jansen, the Department of Corrections capital programs administrator.

Low-pressure water fixtures such as 1.1 gallons-per-flush toilets and 1.5 gallons-per-minute showers have also helped to reduce overall water use by 32%. This amounts to roughly 20 million gallons saved per year and 70 million fewer gallons in sewage annually. A 16,929-square-foot photovoltaic solar panel system has generated over 116 MWh for the facility as well.

The prison features 46% recycled building materials and 45% of the materials used coming from local sources. Likewise, during its construction, 27,340 tons of excess construction material removed from the site was recycled, reducing its landfill impact by a staggering 96%.

From all of its sustainable updates, the facility will have a predicted energy-reduction use of 32%, which will save the facility an estimated $370,000 per year. “Sustainable buildings save money, which is important now when resources are becoming scarce,” says Eldon Vail, Secretary for the Department of Corrections.

With virtually no increase in construction costs to achieve LEED Gold certification and hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings predicted each year, Coyote Ridge’s achievements in sustainability will set the standard for future construction and renovation of correctional facilities.

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