News From Masters
A host of sustainable features led to the Fonseca Center’s recent receipt of LEED Gold Certification. LEED is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy Environmental Design, provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which developed the program.
The certification provides “third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts,” according to the USGBC.
Under the LEED system, buildings are awarded points based on the extent to which sustainable strategies are achieved. The more points awarded, the higher the level of certification achieved. There are four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
The Fonseca Center’s green building features include the 253 solar panels on the natatorium (pool building) roof and the roof of the gym in the adjoining Strayer Hall. There are also double-insulated, low-E glass panels in the new gym’s windows and on the north side of the natatorium.
“The building is expected to achieve an energy cost reduction of 35% compared to a baseline code-compliant building,” says Lisa Ross, senior project manager at Vidaris, Inc., which provided LEED consulting, energy modeling and related services to Masters.
In addition, she says, “Interior water use was reduced by over 26% compared to a baseline case by selecting efficient plumbing fixtures. Exterior water use was reduced by over 50% compared to a baseline case through the selection of native/adaptive plantings, limited areas of turf grass, and the use of an efficient drip irrigation system.”
To promote environmental health within the Center, the architect – Peter Gisolfi Associates – selected materials to meet LEED low-emitting standards for adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings, as well as engineered wood products without added urea-formaldehyde, according to Ms. Ross.
She cited a few more facts that led to the LEED Gold certification:
- More than 24% of the materials used to construct the complex contain recycled content and 22% of the materials were regionally manufactured and sourced;
- Of the new wood products used within the building, 70% were certified by the Forest Stewardship Council;
- Over 90% of the demolition and construction waste generated by the project was diverted from landfills by redirecting it to recycling facilities.