The Rakow Branch opened on August 15, 2009. The branch is an environmentally friendly LEED registered building. State-of-the-art features include a geothermal field and have earned a LEED Gold certification.
What’s a Geothermal field? It’s an area of the Earth characterized by a relatively high heat flow. The anomalously high rate of heat flow may be due to present, or fairly recent, orogenic or magmatic activity, or to the radioactive decay of isotopes of K, Th, and U where these occur at very high concentrations in crustal granites (hot dry rocks). In sedimentary basins, low thermal-conductivity values for the rocks are balanced by high thermal gradients, thus maintaining a constant heat flow. The high thermal gradients raise the temperature of deep, permeating water. Extraction of the water up deep boreholes provides surface water at temperatures useful for space heating. Hot springs and fumaroles can be important surface manifestations of a geothermal field.
What’s LEED: Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building. LEED certification ensures electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthier environments for the places we live, work, learn, play and worship. Based on the number of credits achieved, a project earns one of four LEED rating levels: LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold or LEED Platinum. The LEED rating systems work for all buildings at all phases of development and are meant to challenge project teams and inspire outside-the-box solutions. LEED’s global sustainability agenda is designed to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health, acting on the triple bottom line – putting people, planet, and profit first.