The Norwalk Community College (NCC) Center for Science Health and Wellness was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
The state of the art new building and renovations at NCC was designed for the Nursing & Allied Health program, science laboratories, faculty offices and fitness facility. The project started construction in February 2010 and in one and a half years; the project was completed and opened its doors for the 2011 fall semester.
The design and construction of the project was administered by the Connecticut Department of Construction Services (DCS) on behalf of NCC and the Connecticut Board of Regents. It is the first awarded LEED Gold project for the Connecticut Community College system and DCS.
Exceeding the original goal of LEED Certified, the achievement of LEED Gold required additional time, involvement and dedication from the project design team, construction team and owners to achieve sustainable measures well beyond a building meeting minimum code requirements. Sustainable design measures implemented at the Center will provide students, faculty and staff with a healthy and comfortable indoor environment to work and study in while providing economical benefits to the college through utility cost savings.
Site design maximized the natural daylight to reduce energy consumption caused by artificial lighting. Water-efficient plumbing fixtures were also put into place to reduce water usage by 43.6% annually and energy-efficient building and HVAC design will allow NCC to save over 14% in calculated annual energy costs.
To further reduce the building’s impact on the environment, 90% of construction and demolition waste was diverted from landfills through recycling and reuse. Overall, the building materials contained 30% recycled content and more than 27% of the materials that went into the building’s construction were both manufacturer and extracted locally, reducing resource consumption from material transportation.
Additionally, approximately 320 construction and trades workers from 41 companies were employed by this project totaling over 100,000 hours worked with no lost time injuries. Over 40 design professionals and consultants worked on this project.
“This is the first LEED Gold awarded project for the Connecticut Community College system and the Department of Construction Services and we’re incredibly proud of that,” said DCS Deputy Commissioner Bud Salemi. “The fundamental goal for LEED is to help building owners and managers deliver a high quality indoor environment while reducing costs and environmental impacts by keeping buildings operating efficiently over the long term. LEED buildings lower operating costs and increase asset value, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and are healthier and safer for occupants.”
Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education President Robert A Kennedy said, “Norwalk Community College’s LEED Gold certification is a terrific accomplishment and a testament to their commitment to helping reduce our state’s energy consumption. This designation isn’t easy to obtain, and the administrators on campus, the construction and design teams and the architects should be commended for their hard work. Hopefully their experiences can help others in the state obtain this certification, as well.” Connecticut’s State Colleges, Universities and Community Colleges are governed by the CT Board of Regents.
“All over campus, we are implementing changes leading to climate neutrality,” said David L. Levinson, Ph.D., NCC President and Vice-President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities. “By educating and empowering students and creating solutions, the college also is providing leadership-by-example for the community.”
In a letter to NCC students from United Nations Climate Convention Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres she said, “I have been following your activities over the past three years and have been profoundly impressed by your perseverance. It is precisely your powerful combination of unswerving commitment in the present and clear vision of the future that makes the world change ... I salute you!”