Construction will begin in 2012 on a new Science Center that will be constructed with sustainable materials and methods designed to meet LEED Silver certification standards. Once completed in 2014, it will be the home of the University’s new Center for Renewable Energy. The center will engage in the study and research of alternate energy sources, such as photovoltaic and wind-turbine-generated energy.
The Science Center will use a high-efficiency energy plant and a chilled beam cooling system is proposed for classrooms and offices to lower energy requirements for the building. Low E insulated glazing with a low solar heat gain coefficient and exterior shading devices will reduce ultraviolet light in the building, which also reduces energy demand.
The building’s TPO white roofing membrane will reduce the heat island effect, and R-21 roofing insulation will reduce heat gain and conditioned air loss. This will result in lower energy needed throughout the building. Other energy-saving features will include sensor operated light switches throughout the building and fluorescent high-efficiency lighting in laboratories and classrooms. These systems will be centrally monitored and controlled by Campus Facilities.
Additional sustainable practices will minimize on-site stormwater runoff by reducing impervious surfaces, native and low water usage landscaping. Water-conserving plumbing fixtures will reduce water requirements for the building. Low-VOC paints and adhesives, to be used throughout the building’s interior, will contribute to the building’s interior air-quality management.
The use of materials such as carpet, wood and metal laboratory casings and furniture, with a high content of recyclables, will reduce waste and the depletion of resources.
Five percent of the parking spaces will be provided for low-emission, low-energy-use vehicles in the center’s new parking lot.