The Portsmouth Public Library, New Hampshire's first municipal building to receive the prestigious LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) (http://www.usgbc.org/leed) silver certification, has been recognized for its design and construction in the areas of energy conservation, recycling, lighting, and use of local materials. The library also contains other sustainable features such as low flow toilets, native drought resistant plants in the landscaping, and printers which release fumes out of the building, instead of in.
Despite being twice the size, electricity consumption was only up 50 percent from the former site. And even though the new building is 116 percent larger than the old facility and open more often, the amount of natural gas used to heat it decreased by 66.7 percent, saving the city $20,000 in the library's first year of operation. A self guided tour of the library which goes into greater detail about the sustainable features of the Portsmouth Public Library can be found here.
Drinking Water Treatment Plant
Located in Madbury NH, the water treatment plant has become the third building under the City of Portsmouth to be certified LEED silver. Its green features include solar hot water collectors, heat pumps, and "daylight harvesting" all of which reduce the buildings carbon footprint. The building itself is also sustainable as the material used to construct it is made of recycled materials. Lastly the building itself is highly energy efficient and exceeds the current energy code by 30%.
In 2017, solar arrays were installed at this building. These arrays are ground mounted and generate about 25% of the plant’s energy needs. You can find additional details here.
Portsmouth High School
In addition to the Madbury plant, solar arrays were also installed at the High School in 2017. The combined total size of the arrays at both sites is 578 kilowatts DC and will produce more than 700,000 kilowatt hours of renewable electricity annually. This array is located on the roof of the school and will generate about 11% of the school’s energy needs.
Portsmouth Middle School
When completed in 2013, the Portsmouth Middle School became a high performance building. A “High Performance” school is one in which all of its systems function in an efficient and synergistic fashion. A high performance school provides a healthy, comfortable environment that facilitates learning, saves money, and helps to protect the environment. High performance schools offer superior indoor environmental conditions for health and academic performance, are cost-effective and efficient to operate and maintain, and are resource efficient in the areas of energy use, water use, and building material content and durability.
NH House Bill 129, which took effect on September 9, 2005, gives the Department of Education the ability to award up to 3% more state funding to districts that design, build, and operate school facilities that meet new high performance standards. The designation of “High Performance” is very similar to LEED certification. In New Hampshire, the Department of Education’s School Building Aid Office uses the designation of “High Performance” instead of LEED certification to indicate that sustainable and green practices were used in the design and building of the school. You can find further information at https://neep.org/initiatives/energy-efficient-buildings/high-performance-schools/new-hampshire.
The City completed the construction of Fire Station 2 in the summer of 2010 at its new location, 3010 Lafayette Road. Some of the "green" features of this project include a super-insulated building envelope, high-efficiency natural gas boilers for heat and innovative site features to treat storm water. These features will result in significant annual operating cost savings and improved environmental conditions over a conventionally designed and built facility. The building was declared LEED Silver in May of 2011.