Airways Transit Center Awarded LEED Certification

By Sarah Baker

The Memphis Area Transit Authority Airways Transit Center has been granted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification from Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council.

The designation represents the first time a newly constructed, publicly funded building has been granted the designation in Shelby County.

The architect was brg3s architects, while Smith Seckman Reid Inc. was responsible for program management and LEED commissioning.

The 30,000-square-foot MATA Airways Transit Center, which opened at 3033 Airways Blvd. in November 2011, serves as a major connection for bus passengers traveling east and west in south Memphis and provides better connections to nearby Memphis International Airport.

It also serves as the new Greyhound terminal for Memphis, replacing its former decades-old home Downtown on Union Avenue.

Features of the center include a white roof that reflects sunlight and heat; less use of asphalt paving and the preservation of greenspace to reduce the urban heat island effect; energy efficient lighting, glass windows, and HVAC systems; water conserving fixtures and landscaping; and the use of recycled materials.

There’s also preferential parking for fuel-efficient vehicles, bike racks, new sidewalks, a community conference room, food services, Greyhound Package Express and a light maintenance building for Greyhound, as well as public art that was developed in collaboration with the Memphis Urban Art Commission and artist Walter Kravitz.

The Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects also recently recognized the MATA Airways Transit Center with a 2012 Design Merit Award for New Construction.