Butte College’s new ARTS building has been certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold by the US Green Building Council—a first for any college in Butte and Glenn Counties.
“We are very proud to have the first LEED Gold certified college building in the North State. The environmentally friendly features of this building are enabling us to save money while providing students with a wonderful place to learn and faculty with a great place to teach,” said Dr. Diana Van Der Ploeg, Butte College president.
The 77,000 square-foot building includes instructional classrooms, teaching labs, ceramics studios, photography labs, and a state-of-the-art black box theater. The $28.7 million facility exceeds California Title 24 Energy Code requirements by 40 percent. Sustainability features include: evaporative cooling; 100 percent outside air heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units incorporating CO2 sensors; waterless urinals, ultra low-flow sensor faucets and low-flow water closets resulting in a 48.5 percent reduction in water usage over traditional facilities; electric vehicle refueling stations; comprehensive campus bus service, vanpool program, water efficient landscaping, and bicycle storage with permeable surfacing. Campus solar arrays supply power offsets of energy use by 17.5 percent.
“Title 24 is a set of mandated state requirements revolving around energy efficiency in a variety of the of the building’s design aspects. To exceed these requirements by 40 percent is a big achievement,” said Mike Miller, Butte College Director of Facilities, Planning and Management.
Other sustainable benefits include: the roof top is made from a highly reflective material which aids in energy efficiency and helps reflect solar radiation; low-emitting materials—paint reduces the quantity of indoor air contaminates because it is made with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC); carpet consists of pre-consumer recycled content; composite wood and agrifiber products used on the interior of the building contain no added urea formaldehyde--reducing indoor air contaminants; and adhesives and sealants used on the interior of the building comply with South Coast Air Quality Management District and Green Seal Standard for Commercial Adhesives.
Over 95 percent of the debris generated during the construction was recycled, reducing the amount of material that ends up in our landfills. Exterior lighting used on and around the building was designed to minimize light trespass from the building and site. Minimizing the light trespass reduces sky-glow to increase night sky access, improve nighttime visibility through glare reduction, and reduces development impact on nocturnal environments. The paving material used around the exterior of this building is made with highly reflective solar material. This reflective material will reduce the heat island effect caused by conventional paving materials which will help minimize impact on microclimate and human and wildlife habitat. Fifty percent of the wood-based materials and products used on the interior of the building are certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) principles and criteria.
Butte College’s Arts building was awarded the Higher Education Energy Efficiency Partnership Best Practice Award in New Construction HVAC Design & Retrofit and an Honorable Mention for Water Efficiency at the 2009 UC/CSU/CCC Sustainability Conference hosted by the University of California, Santa Barbara. The building’s energy efficiency earned the college an $82,000 rebate from PG&E.
An event celebrating the certification is being planned for September. The college is also in the process of LEED certification for its Student and Administrative Services building.
The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-bases national standard for developing high performance, sustainable buildings. Achieving LEED certification demonstrates measurable design and construction practices that reduces the negative environmental impacts of buildings, improves occupant health and well-being, and saves money on energy consumption once the building is in use.