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Campus Center gets green award

Kevin Garrity, Managing Editor
Samantha Sincock, Arts Editor/Editorial Director

The new University of La Verne Campus Center was recently awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver certification for its environmentally sustainable construction, making it the first building in La Verne to receive this recognition.

The University’s commitment to build the Campus Center in a sustainable and efficient way began early in the process and was carried out by its partner construction company K.A.R. in Ontario.

“We wanted to show the University’s commitment to sustainability early on,” said Chip West, executive director of the Campus Center. “We knew early on that we wanted to achieve the LEED certification.”

LEED is a green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that provides guidelines to contractors and property owners for constructing and maintaining environmentally sustainable buildings.

“The process to achieve LEED began in the design stage,” University President Stephen Morgan said. “As soon as we began working with the construction company we jointly agreed to be as sustainable and efficient as possible.”

K.A.R was instrumental in maintaining the University’s commitment to minamize the environmental impact during the construction process. K.A.R. was able to recycle 75 percent of all waste materials used during construction.

“It might not sound like much, but if all the materials we were able to recycle were stacked up, it would be half as high as the building,” said Kurt Rothweiler, president of K.A.R Construction.

“We utilized our recycle management system so that any materials, such as trash, steel, cardboard or concrete, were segregated to be recycled later,” he said.

Small measures that lead to big differences can be seen throughout the building. To reduce water consumption, the vegetation around the center is California-native species, which are drought tolerant.

The infrared censor faucets and low-flow urinals and toilets in the bathrooms reduce water consumption by 38.8 percent over one year, and are only a few of the assets that make the building eco-friendly.

The roof of the center is set up to reduce the amount of trapped heat inside the building.

“Our green roof absorbs sunlight and or redirects it,” West said. “This greatly reduces energy that would be used to cool off the building with air conditioning.”

Lighting was one of the big concerns while building the center as well.

Architects worked hard to draw in as much natural light as possible, installing windows and glass walls throughout the building that allow sunlight to fill the common areas.

Temperature and humidity controls were placed throughout the building to maintain a comfortable indoor environment without the waste of energy.

West hopes that the rest of the campus, as well as the La Verne community, will follow the example of the Campus Center.

“It’s a great example of being thoughtful when doing construction, while keeping the environment and sustainability in mind,” West said.

Rothweiler said that he has recently seen a trend with other buildings trying to achieve LEED certification.

“I am happy to be involved with the construction of the Campus Center,” Rothweiler said. “Especially after seeing the faculty, staff and students enjoy it so much. I think it has made more of an impact than anybody had anticipated.”

Other buildings on campus will not be able to achieve LEED certification because that recognition only goes to new buildings, however each new renovation has an eye on energy efficiency and sustainability, Morgan said.

“We want it to be a model for others,” Morgan added. “It should demonstrate that building sustainably and efficiently not only protects our planet but can also be cost effective.”

“Over time we think the extra cost will be well worth it,” West said. “We wanted to be as sustainable as possible, use as (little) energy as possible, and fit the landscape of La Verne. It was a lot of fun to work on, and I hope we have more of these in the future.”

Kevin Garrity can be reached at kevin.garrity@laverne.edu.
Samantha Sincock can be reached at samantha.sincock@laverne.edu.

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