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Oct. 10, 2012

LEED Silver Certification for Airways Transit Center

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The U.S. Green Building Council recently awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification to the Memphis Area Transit Authority’s (MATA) Airways Transit Center. According to a report by the Memphis Daily News, the center, which opened in November 2011, is the first publicly funded and newly constructed Shelby County building to receive the designation.

Among the environmentally friendly and energy-efficient features that earned the 30,000-square-foot building LEED Silver is a sunlight- and heat-reflecting white roof, energy-efficient HVAC systems and windows, and water-efficient fixtures and landscaping. Recycled materials were also significantly incorporated into the center.

Architects also made use of green spaces in an effort to decrease the urban heat island effect created by extensive asphalting. Fuel-efficient vehicles benefit from preferential parking, and bike racks are also prominently featured.

The center, located at 3033 Airways Blvd., is a major hub for both bus passengers—especially since the Memphis Greyhound terminal recently relocated from its outdated downtown site—and travelers going through the nearby Memphis International Airport. Greyhound has also located a light maintenance building onsite, as well as its Greyhound Package Express operations.

The property, however, is more than a transit center. This development also incorporates a community conference room and food services, and art is prominently featured courtesy of the Memphis Urban Art Commission and artist Walter Kravitz.

The LEED Silver Certification is not the first award for the MATA Airways Transit Center. The development has also received the 2012 Design Merit Award for New Construction from the American Institute of Architects’ Tennessee Chapter.

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Photo credit: Google Maps