Centre News

Brockman Commons awarded LEED Silver designation

April 4, 2013 By Elizabeth Trollinger       
LEED Silver The Brockman Residential Commons recently achieved the
status of LEED Silver, making it the fourth building at Centre
to be awarded LEED status.

LEED Silver “We went the full gamut to get the Silver LEED rating,” says
Director of Facilities Management Wayne King. “All carpeting
and floor materials [in Brockman Commons] are made from
recyclable materials.”

Watch a Sights and Sounds about the completion of the
Brockman Commons before the start of the 2012-13 school year.

Centre College’s newest residential facility, the A. Eugene Brockman Residential Commons, recently achieved LEED Silver certification, signifying that the building has met high standards of sustainable design, construction and maintenance.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), provides the public a way of measuring the environmental responsibility of buildings across the country, and is widely seen as the benchmark for “green” construction efforts.

The Brockman Commons is the fourth building on Centre’s campus to receive LEED certification—more buildings than any other college or university in Kentucky to achieve LEED certification. In 2012, Young Hall was LEED Gold designation following a $20-million addition to the building that included six new classrooms, eight new teaching labs and eight new faculty research labs, and new common study areas, totaling 40,000 square feet.

Pearl Hall, a residential facility housing approximately 150 students, was the first building in Kentucky to receive a LEED Gold rating, after opening in 2008. In 2009, the new Campus Center was designated as a LEED Silver building.

The Brockman Commons, a $15-million project funded by the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust, opened ahead of the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year. The apartment-style facility houses 124 upper-class students.

With “green” efforts gaining attention and momentum in recent years, garnering LEED certification for Brockman Commons took exceptionally hard work.

“Certification for Brockman Commons was more difficult than other buildings, since the qualifications have become more stringent in past years,” says Wayne King, director of facilities management. “We worked really hard on the geothermal energy. All carpeting and floor materials are made from recyclable materials. Over 30 percent of materials used in the building are regional, so we didn’t have to ship them in. We went the full gamut to get the Silver LEED rating.”

Plans to strive for LEED certification began at the inception of the Brockman Commons.

“Hastings & Chivetta created a design that promoted energy efficiency, included energy efficient systems (HVAC, etc.), called for ‘green’ construction materials when practical and LEED friendly furniture, fixtures—low flow plumbing fixtures, etc.—and equipment,” says Robert Keasler, treasurer and vice president for finance. “Heapy Engineering designed a detailed certification plan that outlined the necessary steps to achieve LEED Silver certification.

“A plan is only as good as the execution,” Keasler continues. “ARCO Construction, the general contractor, followed exhaustingly detailed procedures for purchasing required construction materials, handling of construction waste, efficient construction methods to minimize waste and detailed record keeping. ARCO’s attention to detail throughout the process was a key ingredient.”

When Centre became a signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007, the College pledged that all new buildings and renovations would be designed to conserve energy. But Centre’s commitment to sustainable living practices goes back much further than that.

“We’ve been committed to sustainability for longer than the 40 years I’ve been here,” says King. “We started using recycled paper products some 20 years ago, and have been using fluorescent light fixtures that have little mercury and don’t require recycling for 20 years. We’re highly committed to sustainability—it’s something we do on a normal basis. We were green before there was ‘green.’”

Living on a campus committed to environmental responsibility gives students an example of how to continue being “green” in their own lives.

“Students will have the largest impact on our sustainability efforts. When in session, they live, study, eat, go to class and play on campus,” Keasler says. “If those spaces where they carry on those daily activities are designed to be efficient ‘livable’ spaces like the Commons, Pearl Hall, Campus Center and Young Hall, they are beginning to learn how to live that commitment.”

For more about Centre’s sustainability efforts, visit the Sustainable Centre webpage.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail elizabeth.trollinger@centre.edu with your feedback.

Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.

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