The new Health Sciences Center at the Black Hawk College Quad-Cities Campus has been certified as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold project.
LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
The college initially anticipated seeking Silver certification but was able to achieve the higher Gold certification without changing the project budget, said principal architect Greg Spitzer of Demonica Kemper Architects.
“It’s a high achievement for a community college to get LEED Gold,” Spitzer said.
The design team and college staff worked together to find ways to increase the building’s sustainability without increasing costs, he said.
“We are very proud of our commitment to students as well as the environment,” Black Hawk College president Dr. Bettie Truitt said.
The Health Sciences Center is 20% more energy efficient than a standard building.
Recycled and regionally produced materials were used whenever possible. Fifty percent of the building materials were manufactured within a 500-mile radius.
To maximize indoor air quality, low-emitting VOC (volatile organic compounds) adhesives, sealants, paints, flooring and composite wood were used.
Low-flow water systems reduce potable water consumption by approximately 55,000 gallons per year.
A bioswale – a bed of river stones and native plants on the west side of the building – helps filter and clean rainwater runoff before the water leaves the site.
The parking lot promotes alternative transportation with bicycle racks and 13 preferred parking spaces for low-emission vehicles.
Because the human body responds positively to natural light, 90% of occupied spaces in the three-story structure have natural light and views to the outdoors.
“The building celebrates the landscape,” Spitzer said. Even the colors used in the interior were inspired by the natural surroundings.
Last updated 9/22/2016