The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority Central Station is as green as it gets.

The U.S. Green Building Council has certified the depot at 620 Cherry St. as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum, the group's top level.


Substance Architecture and The Weitz Co. were joined by a raft of Greater Des Moines contractors in the design and build-out of the elegant structure, which opened in November 2012. The transit hub formerly was Walnut Street. DART's decision to create a central station on Cherry Street has led to what city leaders hope will be a transformation on Walnut.


DART Central Station achieved LEED Platinum certification through sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality, according to a release.


Here are some of the building's environmental friendly features:

  • 24 percent of construction materials were recycled.

  • 28 percent of the materials were manufactured regionally.

  • 70 geothermal wells help with heating and cooling.

  • 23,100 kilowatt-hours of energy have been generated by rooftop photovoltaic panels, a savings of 39,274 pounds of carbon dioxide.

  • 1.2 million gallons of rainwater have been captured, cleaned and reused in place of potable water for tasks such as washing bus platforms - 63 percent of total water used.

  • 60 percent total energy cost savings.

The station also has climate-controlled waiting areas, covered loading platforms, a bicycle storage room and a branch of Java Joes CoffeeHouse.