We often hear about people wanting to “go green,” but when the rubber meets the road, it seems hard for many ideas to get off the ground. This isn’t the case for Richmond based John Tyler Community College. John Tyler is the first in the Virginia Community College System to register a construction project under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System.
Check out some of the building features they mention on their website…
Habitat (Sustainable Sites)
- Large open spaces allow storm water to be absorbed into the soil and reduce the heat island effect.
- Use of native and adaptable plants requires minimal watering and maintenance from pollution-emitting equipment.
- The green roof filters and absorbs rainwater to minimize the run-off that goes into the municipal storm system. It also reduces the heat island effect, insulating the building against extreme temperatures.
- Parking lots include spaces reserved for fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles and for those who carpool.
- Bike racks, showers and changing rooms encourage the use of bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation.
- Native plants used in landscaping are adapted to the local environment, minimizing the need for permanent irrigation.
- Exterior solar shading devices shield against solar heating glare without obstructing views.
- Mechanical induction units in the Library control thermal conduction through the exterior windows without increasing energy consumption.
- Energy-efficient glass helps to maintain a tight building envelope, maximizing visibility and minimizing the negative impact of solar heat on the HVAC system.
- Occupancy sensors turn lights on or off depending on whether a space is in use.
- To encourage the development of renewable energy technologies, renewable energy credits (RECs) equal to 70% of the annual electrical consumption over a two-year period were purchased.
- Dedicated recycling centers are found throughout the building.
- 24% of building materials are from recycled content when measured in cost.
- Over 92%, or 1,042 tons, of the construction waste generated during the project was diverted from landfills and sent to recycling centers.
- 11% of construction materials were extracted, processed and manufactured within 500 miles of campus.
Health (Indoor Environmental Quality)
- The use of low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, carpet, adhesives, sealants and other building materials improves air quality.
- Custom millwork and wood doors contain no added urea formaldehyde, a chemical commonly found in wood products that can irritate the eyes and throat.
- Motorized light filtering sunshades help control heat and glare from the sun without compromising natural daylight.
- A green housekeeping program has been established to control the chemical pollutants used in the building.
- An integrated pest management program has been developed to minimize toxic chemicals indoors and in the landscape.
- A green education program that includes building tours and community partnerships has been developed.
- LEED-accredited professionals administered this building project.
- The project team reduced paper consumption during construction by going “paperless.”