As noted in the October 16 Intercom, NOVA’s newest building at the Alexandria Campus, the Center for Design, Media, and the Arts (CDMA), achieved LEED Gold certification. LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Gold is the second highest certification (the four levels are Platinum, Gold, Silver and Certified).
The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) manages the LEED program which “is the most widely used green building rating system in the world.” The program awards credits to a building project based on the materials involved, its overall efficiency and performance and its design in the context of the surrounding natural environment.
While the building was designed to LEED Silver standards, through the hard work of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and NOVA project teams, it achieved enough credits to be Gold. These credits include:
- Energy efficiency – the building uses approximately 2.5 million kBtu (kilo British thermal units), which is about 25 percent less than a similar building without energy efficiency features;
- Water efficiency – the building uses approximately 200,000 gallons less water than a code-compliant building by installing efficient plumbing and fixtures and incorporating native and drought-tolerant landscaping to eliminate some of the traditional irrigation needs;
- Construction waste recycling – 92 percent of construction and demolition debris was diverted from local landfills (781 tons);
- Lighting and controls – almost 50 percent of regularly occupied spaces have access to natural daylight and 90 percent of regularly occupied spaces have a direct line of sight outdoors; and occupancy sensors automatically turn lights on when someone enters a room and off when they leave;
- Re-use – installing bottle filling stations on each floor encourages bottle refilling and reduces the number of single-use plastic bottles.
This building is one of soon-to-be eight LEED buildings at NOVA, which include:
- Mark R. Warner Student Services (CA) at Annandale (LEED Certified)
- Services Support (WSSB) at Woodbridge (LEED Silver)
- Arts and Science (WAS) at Woodbridge (LEED Silver)
- Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training (RCWET) at Woodbridge (LEED Silver)
- Parrish Hall (MP) at Manassas (LEED Gold)
- Brault (CH) at Annandale (projected to be at least LEED Silver)
- Higher Education Center (LHEC) at Loudoun (projected to be at least LEED Silver)
As Bryna Dunn, Moseley Architects’ director of sustainability planning, said at the grand opening event, “LEED…is a program that is somewhat analogous to the Olympics for green buildings; you have to meet certain qualifications to even get in the game…The Center for Design, Media, and the Arts came in at a very impressive LEED Gold, which everyone in this room should be very proud of.”
More information about NOVA’s energy, environment and sustainability programs is available at http://www.nvcc.edu/sustainability/.