College Activities Building Awarded Distinguished Green Honor

April 6, 2012

The U.S. Green Building Council recently announced the second certification of an Evergreen building under the distinguished Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification.

LEED certification is a process for ranking and recognizing “green” projects. LEED Gold constitutes the second highest ranking possible.

Evergreen holds the distinction of two buildings with LEED Gold certification; Seminar II—the first public LEED Gold Certified building in Washington (completed in 2004)—and, now, the College Activities Building (CAB) redesign completed in 2011.

The first floor renovation of the LAB I building also recently achieved LEED Silver certification. These three projects provide examples of architectural and design choices that demonstrate the campus commitment to sustainability.

Many campus community members contributed to the achievement of LEED Gold certification for the CAB including members of the CAB pre-design and design committees, architects from the DLR group and college staff who worked on the project.

Importantly, Evergreen students, when given the choice in the 2006 student vote, voted to tax themselves at the level necessary to help achieve this high standard.

Some design features leading to the new certification in the CAB include: ·

  • a 48.5 percent reduction in energy use despite the addition of 15,000 square feet, ·
  • use of natural ventilation to cool the building in warmer months, ·
  • a more than 50% reduction in irrigated water use by choice of native plants for landscaping, plus substantial anticipated reductions of water use through the installation of a cistern to supply roof captured water to toilets in the building, ·
  • more than 75% of the wood used in the project is Forest Stewardship Council certified, ·
  • use of low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials and paints to provide a healthier and more environmentally friendly environment, ·
  • ninety-five percent of the existing CAB structure and roof were preserved in the remodel, reducing waste substantially, and 10 percent of new materials used in the CAB are from recycled sources, ·
  • daylight sensors are used to adjust lighting, and are coupled with energy efficient fixtures to decrease waste of energy from lighting.

“The college has a long-held commitment to being conscious of the impact of its facilities upon the environment, whether its herbicide and pesticide free policy choices, its electricity from renewable resources, or the commitment from top administration to see that new construction strives to meet at least LEED Silver criteria,” says Paul Smith, director of facilities services.

“The CAB redesign was a collaborative effort that involved every part of the campus community, including staff, students, and faculty,” add Smith. “And we are proud of the result of our effort to reduce the building’s environmental impacts.”