Celebrating Nazareth’s New Green Benchmark

18 Apr

Northwest view of the Integrated Center for Math and Science, which will be the first LEED-certified building on campus.

With Earth Day upon us, we wanted to take the chance to tout Nazareth’s largest environmental sustainability project–our new Integrated Center for Math and Science. We broke ground on the project recently and there’s been a flurry of activity at the construction site since.

With the wonderful green design of the building, we expect the project to achieve at least a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-certified green building rating of silver, which would make it the only building on campus to have LEED certification and the only building in Pittsford, N.Y., to have that, too. Currently a voluntary effort by property owners, LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The number of points a building receives by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which oversees all LEED certifications, will determine its rating.

So, what does that mean, exactly? To achieve LEED certification status with a silver, gold, or platinum rating (and we’re hoping that by the end of the project it will be certified platinum), the site and building must meet the following six guidelines established by the USGBC:

  • Sustainable site development: This site has alternative transportation close to a bus line and bike racks; the building has an integrated engineering-sustainable design; it will have combined lab, administrative, classroom and a lecture hall.
  • Water efficiency: The building will have low-flow fixtures; electronic-sensor faucets; and water-efficient landscaping with native plants.
  • Energy and atmosphere: Rain water from the roof will be collected in an area behind the building to capture water before it enters the storm-water system.
  • Materials and resources selection: The building will be able to store and collect recyclables; we aim to divert between 75 and 95 percent of construction waste for the project; 20 percent of the materials we use will come from sites within 500 miles; we will use certified wood, with 50 percent of the wood coming from the Forest Stewardship Council; the roof of the building will be made of composite that will be good for 50 years, which is much higher than traditional slate; and there will be two 20′ x 20′ green roofs proposed for the building.
  • Indoor environmental quality: We will try to provide the best air quality during construction and thereafter; we will monitor the carbon monoxide levels in the air; and we will increase ventilation and use low-emitting materials, from paint to carpet, etc.
  • Green design innovations: The green roofs on the building will reduce the heat island effect and light pollution.

The four-story center will be the largest newly built academic building on our campus. In addition to its green design, the Integrated Center for Math and Science will provide several great academic benefits, like collaborative spaces and state-of-the art technologies. In the meantime, walk by the site of the building–near the Golisano Academic Center–and get excited about this new benchmark for Nazareth!

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