A New Jersey Turnpike toll plaza building in Monroe Township, N.J., designed by Gannett Fleming incorporates Silver-level LEED® standards. Part of a $2.7 billion, 35-mile-long turnpike widening project through 11 communities and three counties in central New Jersey, the new Interchange 8 toll plaza facility opened on Jan. 25, 2013.
The overall project widened the existing six lanes of traffic to 12, with three in each direction reserved for cars only, and three in each direction for all types of vehicles. Scheduled to be completed in 2014, the expanded roadway was designed to handle traffic needs through 2032, according to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA).
The toll plaza building is the only LEED-designed portion of the project. When it was first planned in 2007, LEED was not commonly used for transportation projects. “Because this was one of the first LEED toll plazas in the country, we had to make smart decisions on how to incorporate the LEED requirements,” said project manager Daniel J. Horner, PE, Highway Design Department manager based in the firm’s Mt. Laurel, N.J., office.
The building features a number of green designs and materials, including:
- Windows positioned to maximize natural light
- A high-efficiency HVAC system
- Paints, carpets, adhesives, and other products that emit fewer low-volatile organic compounds
- Flooring tile and countertops made from all-natural renewable or recycled resources
- Landscaping with native plants that do not require irrigation.
In addition, the NJTA is considering a green cleaning program in which all products and chemicals will be biodegradable and free of phosphates, animal byproducts, and perfumes.
The NJTA will pursue LEED certification of the toll plaza building in 2013.