November 2, 2011—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded New College of Florida’s new Academic Center with Gold LEED certification for a number of environmentally-friendly features. The Academic Center, located at the College’s entrance on U.S. 41 and College Drive in Sarasota, officially opened in August for nearly 50 classes this fall term.
The USGBC awards point values based on sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. At the New College Academic Center:
- Toilets flush using residual rainwater from the roof and A/C condensate.
- Specially designed tanks built-in under the adjoining Koski Plaza collect storm water.
- Special CO2 room sensors measure air quality and adjust the A/C system accordingly.
- High-efficiency windows let in natural light.
- Pavers and high reflective roofing materials reflect sunshine.
- More than 85 percent of construction site debris was recycled.
In addition to classes, the Academic Center houses offices for faculty and the Division of Humanities. Classrooms, which double as hurricane shelters with a 140-mph wind load, also feature enhanced wireless technology for students.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.