Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Two renovated Grossmont College buildings are certified green

Grossmont College's Griffin Center
Grossmont College’s two newest renovated buildings have received LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council, indicating that the buildings were designed, built and are operating using green strategies that incorporate energy and water efficiency and sustainable building materials.

The El Cajon college’s Student Services and Administration Building was recognized with a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification while the college’s student center, the Griffin Center, earned a silver LEED certification. This is the first time that a building on the Grossmont or Cuyamaca campuses has achieved LEED certification.

“We are extremely proud of our project management team for their outstanding efforts that demonstrate our commitment to integrating high standards of sustainability and responsible, environmentally-friendly building practices throughout the construction process,” said Bill Garrett, president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District board.
Student Services and Administration Building
The Student Services and Administration Building serves as a one-stop gateway center for student services, including admissions and records, assessment, counseling, transfer center, international students, veterans affairs, and financial aid. The 37,233-square-foot complex also houses administrative and support services offices including cashier, business office, instructional operations, deans’ offices and college and community relations.

Before remodeling, the building surrounded an outdoor courtyard area, which now is enclosed and covered with a translucent high-bay atrium that uses natural light to lower energy consumption. The building’s skylights and green-tinted metal roof, which reflects the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, has helped reduce energy costs by more than 22 percent, compared to a similar size building not constructed using green strategies.

More than 95 percent of the wood installed in the building was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, an environmental trade group. All of the building’s 118 rooms and 82 offices have lights that turn on and off depending on occupancy, and offices with exterior windows have low-e insulated glass that brings natural daylight into the building.

Grossmont College’s two-story Griffin Center houses the college’s food services with multiple lounge, study and dining areas. The 46,743-square-foot building with 109 rooms and 48 offices also accommodates Associated Students, Culinary Arts, Student Health Services, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, Disabled Student Programs and Services and Career Center, as well as student affairs office, a student club room and Griffin Gate for Governing Board meetings.

College officials said skylights and natural lighting in Griffin Center have lowered energy costs by more than 12 percent, compared to previous energy bills. The building’s promenade also features skylights with floating metal clouds below that enhance natural lighting.

During renovation of both buildings, 85 percent of the 194 waste containers hauled off from the site were recycled and diverted from landfills. The recycled debris included metal, aluminum, concrete, stucco and copper.

About one quarter of building materials used for both buildings were from recycled materials, and 10 percent of the building materials were provided by suppliers located within 500 miles of the campus. The low-flow plumbing fixtures in the bathrooms have resulted in a 28 percent water savings. In addition, drought-tolerant landscaping at both buildings was included as part of the plan to achieve LEED certification.

The two buildings were designed by Architects Mosher Drew, and the construction manager was Rudolph and Sletten. Renovation costs of $36 million for both buildings came from Proposition R, a $207 million bond measure passed by voters in 2002. 

The college district plans to continue using environmentally-sound practices that meet LEED standards in any future construction projects, said Chancellor Cindy L. Miles.

“We’re thrilled to be models in East County for using funds that encourage sustainability and protect our valuable resources,” Miles said. “This is indicative of the district’s ongoing focus on using resources wisely and saving money.”