Energy and resource use within our built environment is a driving force behind much of sustainability movement. Recent advancements in both construction techniques and materials have allowed for huge steps forward regarding green building, and we at North are proud to be putting our best footprint forward. Beginning with the Opportunity Center for Employment and Education (OCE&E), and continuing with the Health Sciences and Student Resource (HSSR) building, our commitment to sustainability within the structure of our campus continues to be put on display via these two amazing buildings.
OCE&E – Opportunity Center for Employment & Education Efficiency and a high level of service for customers of the OCE&E building were primary drivers of the design process, ultimately resulting in the building receiving a LEED Gold Certification. Sustainability of not only the building itself but the integration of education, employment, and social services is viewed as the best solution to serving the needs of OCE&E customers. The project responded to emerging trends in employment and social services by serving a wide range of job seekers in an environment that integrates employment and social service programs with basic skills education, workforce education, and academic programs.
In terms of design, construction, and implementation, the project has been a champion of sustainable development. Over 98% of the construction waste created by the project was diverted from landfills and either reused or recycled, and over 20% of the building materials were made from recycled content, reducing the need for extracting virgin resources and materials for the build process.
Features such as the green roof and rain gardens contribute to onsite stormwater management, and have helped us to retain the health of the groundwater on campus, as we sit at the headwaters of Thornton Creek. Large south facing windows, advanced energy management systems, and integrative building techniques were utilized with great success throughout the project. We are extremely happy to have this beautiful addition to our campus, and along with it, a commitment to pushing the envelope of sustainable building systems. If you would like to learn more about the building’s features, or go on a self-guided walking tour, feel free to come by our office and pick up a ‘Green Features’ walking tour guide of the OCE&E building, or download one below:
OCE&E Walking Tour Pamphlet
HSSR – Health Sciences & Student Resources
Our second LEED certified building on campus will be the Health Sciences & Student Resource building, aiming to achieve LEED Gold Certification within one year of opening. The project includes the comprehensive renovation of the northern two-thirds of the existing building and a 23,100 square foot steel framed rooftop addition. This will create a 46,600 square foot facility, extending the life of the building for more than 40 years. The rooftop addition will allow for increased instructional lab and classroom space on campus. As sustainability in our communities is vitally important to the success of this school, we anticipate that the project will generate approximately 370 construction-related jobs.
The HSSR building will contain a Human Biology and Science Center including a lab for anatomy, physiology and biology with an integrated prep area; a Learning Center to centralize and consolidate the College’s tutoring programs and promote student success; a Food Services function; and space for student gathering.
The new building will be a cutting-edge facility that helps fill the skills gap in increasing the capacity to train and educate students for high-demand jobs. The building itself will feature a number of ‘green’ features already highlighted in our OCE&E building, including filtered water-bottle fill-up stations, advanced energy distribution systems, and the potential of housing an energy-monitoring kiosk, in which users may look at real-time metrics and visualizations of energy and resource use on campus at a given time. Additionally, the building will feature three large water-collecting cisterns, designed to collect rain water and distribute it throughout the plumbing systems to fill up the toilets, cutting down significantly on water consumption within the building.
Both of these buildings highlight the direction this college is moving with its commitment to sustainability in all aspects of campus life.