Division of Sustainability Design/Build Overview

Division of Sustainability Design/Build Overview

Topping out ceremony for the new Family Justice Center Topping out ceremony for the new Family Justice Center
Department of General Services' Sustainability Overview

The ultimate mission of the Department of Metro General Services is to provide beautiful, healthy, safe, sustainable, functional and long lasting public buildings and spaces. Specifically, General Services’ Sustainability Division integrates sustainable practices throughout the department’s projects and operations with the goal to reduce energy, waste, carbon and greenhouse gas emissions while also educating Metro employees and the Nashville community about sustainability.

Sustainability Division staff is responsible for leading innovative, green building strategies and practices, which include the use of green materials in facility projects and operations, maintenance of indoor air quality, energy management, and construction project sustainable site development while also incorporating environmentally sound principles into fleet operations, landscaping, and janitorial services.

In addition, we work to ensure that all facilities, regardless if they are built or in construction phase result in the highest possible level of sustainability. Each facility strives to focus on sustainability through best practices and innovation throughout, including integrating the best use of energy reduction practices within the design of a building and focusing landscape design on best storm water practices and native species use.

The Division of Sustainability works closely with another division in the Department of General Services- Building Operations Support Services - which includes both the management of several Metro-owned facilities and also construction of new and renovated Metro facilities.

Construction Services
Our team works with Construction Services staff -- led by Doug Kinsey -- on overseeing new construction by assisting with strategies that support innovative, green building practices; include green materials in facility projects; renewable energy and energy efficiency emphasis; indoor air quality improvement; construction project sustainable site development and storm-water management.

Construction services focuses on the following areas:

  • Planning — space planning and facilities programming; master planning; major maintenance planning; facility condition assessments; capital improvement project planning; building records and archives; customer satisfaction surveys and post occupancy evaluations; leased facility project management; facility equipment infrastructure management.
  • Major Maintenance and Capital Improvement Projects — cost estimates; project scope; construction; permitting and interdepartmental project coordination.
  • Warranty Follow-up — capital project warranty issues management; equipment warranty investigation; vendor operation and maintenance manuals catalog; extended warranty service contracts.

Lentz Public Health Center


Design and Relocation Services
The Sustainability team also works with the Design and Relocation Services staff -- led by Elizabeth Swinson -- to integrate sustainable practices through their management of design-related aspects of work space and furnishings renovations and related project logistics.

  • Planning: cost estimates, project scope, project design, interior design, space planning and facilities programming, master planning, interior finishes and furnishings specifications and procurement
  • Project Management: leased facility project management, interior finishes, furnishings placement and installation coordination, move management services, customer satisfaction

 LEED® Platinum Plaque at Fire Station 19


Metro LEED® Ordinance
A guiding principal in the work General Services oversees is building and maintaining facilities to LEED® standards. A  Metro LEED® ordinance was enacted in 2007 and states that Metro buildings of 5,000 square feet or larger must be built or renovated to LEED® Silver or greater levels of certification. LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED® Certification is granted by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED® buildings are resource efficient, use less water and energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A LEED® building provides health benefits to its occupants as well as to the environment. LEED® buildings must meet criteria in six categories, including Sustainable Sites; Water Efficiency; Energy and Atmosphere; Materials and Resources; Indoor Environmental Quality; and Innovation Design Process.

In accordance with the ordinance, General Services is proud to have built 21 LEED® certified buildings in its portfolio, including 12 LEED® Silver, 8 LEED® Gold and 1 LEED® Platinum. LEED® facilities under construction include the Criminal Justice Center and the Metro Nashville Police Department Headquarters and Family Justice Center. Additionally, each year, General Services submits a report to Metro council detailing the energy, water, and financial savings resulting from these buildings to ensure they are performing at their highest standards. Read 2016 High Performance Building Report.

Looking towards the future
As we look to the future, it is more important than ever that we work to increase the longevity of our buildings by designing for adequate growth needs, and by carefully choosing durable and sustainable materials. It is also our goal to ensure that our buildings operate at the highest level of sustainability from the initial design to the functionality and technology provided to the end users.


Blog author, Ms. Laurel Creech, is the Assistant Director of the Department of General Services Division of Sustainability.