RALEIGH -Last month, a pair of rest areas constructed by the N.C. Department of Transportation on I-73/74 in Randolph County were awarded Silver LEED certification. An acknowledgement of the project's sustainable design features and environmentally sound construction methods, this is the second rest area facility operated by NCDOT to achieve LEED certification.
LEED certification is a program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council and stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. There are four tiers of LEED certification, each based on how many points are accrued according to a strict rubric.
Located just south of the Seagrove exit of I-73/74, the rest areas in Randolph County are Silver LEED certified; the second tier of the program. Three of the highlights of the project's efforts focus on reducing water use. The rest areas demonstrated a 75 percent reduction of potable water used for irrigation, a 70 percent reduction in total water used for irrigation and a 43 percent reduction in water use by all interior plumbing fixtures.
Additionally, two of the most impressive statistics for the Randolph County rest areas were that 79 percent of construction debris from the project was diverted from landfills and that 68 percent of all construction materials used originated within 500 miles of the project site.
Construction of the rest areas began in early 2008, and both sites were opened to the public on Jan. 15, 2010. In 2013, more than 680,000 visitors made use of the facilities. Both north and southbound rest areas also feature visitor centers which are operated by the Heart of North Carolina Visitor's Bureau.
For more information on rest areas in North Carolina, please visit the Rest Area System page. For information about other highway beautification projects across the state, visit the NCDOT Roadside Environmental Unit's website.
The exterior of the South Bound Rest Area:The interior of the South Bound Rest Area:The "green roof" of the South Bound Rest Area: