Science Center Achieves LEED Gold Certification

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Posted: 
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 10:18am

Green, gold, proud – the same three words used to introduce JCC's new logos are being used to describe the college's reaction to recent news from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

JCC's Science Center, which opened in late 2011, has achieved the USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. JCC's Science Center achieved LEED Gold certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use, and the incorporation of other sustainable strategies.

“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chair of USGBC. “JCC's project efficiently uses natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations.”

The 26,762 square foot facility showcases various environmentally progressive efficiencies and green technology features. According to John R. Garfoot, JCC's vice president and dean of administration, “Our Science Center is a venue that you can learn ‘from' as well as learn ‘in'.”

The Science Center provides classroom and lab space for biology, biotechnology, chemistry, environmental science, and geology instruction.

JCC employed several siting and construction methods to minimize energy and natural resource consumption and promote conservation, including:
An east-west orientation that maximizes solar radiation exposure and enhances energy efficiency.

  • Collection of rainwater and snow melt through a rainwater harvesting system which allows the water to be filtered and pumped into the building as “gray water” for flushing toilets, watering plants in the 300-square foot greenhouse, and providing drip irrigation for the vegetative roof garden.
  • Use of a vegetated roof garden provides a wildlife habitat, storm water erosion control and treatment, thermal insulation and moderation, and an outdoor botanical classroom.
  • Use of sun tunnels (“sun pipes”) brings daylight into interior hallways to enhance natural lighting and reduce electricity use. Electrical lights in these spaces contain sensors to minimize power use during daylight hours. Light shelves and sun screens diffuse additional natural light into the building without producing additional heat and limit the effects of intense summer sunlight.
  • Windows and doors feature Solarban 80 glass, a high performance, Low-E glass for solar control.
  • Approximately 40% of the project area is a wetland meadow/habitat restoration space.
  • Pergolas and canopies around the building provide shading.
  • Water-permeable pathways reduce storm water runoff and soil erosion and allow groundwater recharge.
  • The white roofing membrane is light reflective to minimize heat buildup and heat island effects in warm weather.
  • A demonstration photovoltaic solar array and a geothermal well system showcase energy consciousness and conservation. Both operations are linked to a real-time digital dashboard panel displaying power consumption and energy savings.
  • Motion sensors monitor room occupancy and adjust lighting and energy utilization.
  • Recycled materials, contained in the building and furniture, and FSC-certified wood were used where possible.
  • Low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpet systems, composite wood, and agrifiber products were used in indoor furnishings.