The Weather Outside is Frightful…

2008 was another year filled with weather anomalies: It snowed almost 8 inches in Las Vegas;  Baghdad got their first snow in 100 years;  Atlanta experienced school closings for the 2 inches they received;  and Portland received over 18 inches.

So perhaps to do what they could to offset any further weather-related abnormalities, the Weather Channel has gone green. The go-to channel when you want to know snow forecasts in the desert will now be reporting on the “unusual” weather events in HD from their new LEED Gold studio.

The Weather Channel is now the only media company to achieve LEED NC Gold certification for construction of a facility that houses a broadcast studio dedicated to 24/7 live TV presentation. Construction for the 12,500-square-foot facility, which adjoins the company headquarters and was designed by Vocon Architecture of Cleveland, Ohio, was completed in January 2008. Rick Fedrizzi, founding chairman and president of the U.S. Green Building Council says, “The achievement of LEED Gold certification by the Weather Channel demonstrates tremendous green building leadership.”

One of the more innovative elements of Atlanta-based building is the way water is utilized both inside and out. In an area of the US that has seen extreme drought, water conservation is integrated in all of the internal systems but the big innovation comes from the grey water collected from the roof and parking lot. It is held in a 75,000 gallon tank under the building used for the landscape irrigation system. The system monitors weather conditions for expected precipitation to determine when the landscape needs to be watered.

Other LEED-making  techniques include diversion of the heat from the studio lighting to heat the building, a roof that diverts Hotlanta sunlight away from the building, recycling of construction waste, and 35 percent of the electricity usage in the new studio over the next two years will be offset.

To learn more about the construction of the building and to see reactions from the station’s effusive on-air personalties, click here.

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