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Sustainability at Wake Forest

Posts Tagged ‘LEED’

Faces of Sustainability: Paul Borick

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Paul_BorickBehind every green building, there is a team of designers and builders who imagined and built it. For several buildings at Wake Forest, Paul Borick is an important member of that team.  Borick is a Registered Architect and Senior Project Manager for WFU Facilities & Campus Services.  He manages design and construction projects anywhere from $1,000 to over $50 million.

This Senior Project Manager incorporates sustainability into both his work and daily life.  The majority of the larger capital projects that he manages are designed to meet at least LEED Silver certification.  With this standard, design and construction of facilities must consider all facets of sustainability in buildings and site selection.

The new residence halls and dining hall on the North campus are no exception to this standard.  As one of his favorite LEED projects thus far, he believes that the new residence halls feature many important sustainable design features. In particular, an air driven mechanical system, will help alleviate bad-smelling fan coils and satisfy residents climatic requirements while saving energy.  He is also excited to show off the new glass solar canopy trellis at the new North Dining Hall. Ultimately, he hopes that “the solar trellis will make people think:  ‘I could do that. That would look great on my back patio or maybe on the facade of a building I may commission or design in the future.’  Seeing technology like this displayed prominently may inspire people to think of other ways to use technology, such as tidal power or the moons gravitational forces to generate power.”

Mr. Borick is a strong supporter of photovoltaic technology.  He is currently lobbying for for the installation of a solar canopy on our facilities building.  “What better place to show off this technology than right next to our power plant?” he asks.  The project could help power our campus, while inspiring others to be more sustainable.  Borick says, “I really do feel it is the future solution to all of our energy needs.  I have this vision of producing power all day with solar energy and then turning it into hydrogen and then using hydrogen to fuel our cars, homes and factories.  When hydrogen is burned, all it produces is water — kind of a win-win.”

In addition to his work on campus, Paul Borick has grown up to incorporate sustainable decisions in his everyday life.  “I think I have always thought of myself as kind of an ‘earth man.’  I feel we have been put on this planet to be good stewards for all of God’s creations,” Borick says. “I think this mindset comes from early hiking and Boy Scout experience.  I always strive to leave things better than I found them.  That goes for something as little as picking up a piece of trash to making sure we leave things in good order for generations to come.”   As a promoter of being a good steward to the Earth, Borick is also a bit of a recycling junkie.  While the north campus project has recycled about 85% of its construction and demolition waste, he also prides himself on his recycling bin always being fuller than the trash bin.

As we move towards a more sustainable future, Mr. Borick encourages everyone to think through their decisions more completely: “I always like to remind people to think about the final outcome.  Did I do the most good using as few resources as I could?  I think that is why I am such a big solar technology fan because other than the production of the PV itself the impact to the environment is somewhat minimal.”  His final words of encouragement for living a sustainable life are to “never forget the little things like turning off a light when no one is around or turning off a dripping faucet. Use one paper towel instead of two.   If everyone does that just think how big the impact can be.

Written by Kiana Courtney, Communications and Outreach Intern

“Doing the Right Thing:” Sustainable Features of the North Campus Construction Projects

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
Illustration credit: Facilities and Campus Services

Illustration credit: Facilities and Campus Services

Throughout the planning and construction of Farrell Hall, the two new north campus residence halls, and the new dining facility the architects have kept an eye on the incorporation of principles of sustainable design.

In an interview with Paul Borick, a senior project manager with Facilities and Campus Services, he defined the sustainable vision for the projects and identified several of the differences between the new projects and existing campus buildings.  Each building, from its foundation, to the landscape that surrounds it, will feature new measures of sustainability that meet the criteria for LEED certification.  These features include uniquely designed ventilation systems, recycled material used in the buildings’ structure, the preservation of parts of the original landscape, communal and open spaces that benefit from outside light, and more.

Borick, who is a LEED-accredited professional, stated that the goal of these projects is to “do the right thing,” by creating a focus on sustainable features.  Students can breathe a little bit easier knowing that the new Residence Halls will utilize a centralized air distribution system using a sophisticated energy control system, meaning the quality increases because there are no fan coil units in each room.  Fan coils tend to be problematic, do not allow for as much control over the heating and cooling and can be damaged by spills into the unit, therefore reducing air quality.  Fan coil units also tend to have a limited lifespan so a centralized air distribution system will lead to reduced building life cycle cost and maintenance.   In addition, the controlled system allows outside air to be brought in and used to further increase efficiency and air quality.  On clear, cool days the system will almost be able to operate on 100% outside air so that minimal conditioning of the air is required.

The structure of the building itself will also be more environmentally friendly, using post-consumer recycled materials.  It will consist of a steel stud system made of recycled content that allows for better insulation than traditional concrete block construction.  Other benefits of this system include more rigid floors and flexibility in the wall placement, which can allow for ease of future suite modifications.

Inside the buildings, the furniture will be made of recycled content and wood from sustainably managed forests, and the paint will be low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  During construction, all construction waste is being collected and sorted for recycling.  The quantity of drywall, steel, glass, copper and other miscellaneous metals being recycled is currently approaching 90%.

There will also be carbon dioxide sensors in the new dining facility and Farrell Hall to further improve control of building ventilation. All four buildings will be supplied with steam and chilled water from a campus central plant through underground pipes as opposed to having an air conditioning system or boiler located in each building. Touch-screen panels will connect to the campus building dashboard in order to educate occupants and visitors about how the buildings are performing.

Although, these buildings have been constructed over existing roads and parts of parking lot Q, the grove of trees on the site still stands.  The willow oaks, which will be transformed into a park-like setting, are part of the original farmland on which the Reynolda campus was built.  The entrance to Farrell Hall will showcase and honor the grove by creating a symbiotic relationship with the indoor atrium and grove of trees, allowing views and natural light to dominate the area.   A major portion of the landscaping will feature plants that are indigenous to North Carolina.  Additional caution will be taken in the creek bed area on the site.  In the first year, plants will be hand-watered allowing the native plants to take root and to stabilize the banks of the creek. In the following years, the water-efficient natives will require only a minimal amount of irrigation.

Each building will also offer more open spaces for students, faculty, and staff to create a greater sense of community.  As you walk into Farrell Hall, you will enter a lobby (or living room), with your back oriented to the glass and columns and towards the trees and Wait Chapel.  This is a space where people can convene, work, and connect with the natural setting.

Like Farrell Hall, the new dining hall will offer that same sense of openness and community, as well as several other sustainable features.  Rather than the all-you-care-to-eat style of the Fresh Food Company (affectionately known as the Pit) where patrons are separated from other dining venues, the new dining hall will feature areas similar to the Pit, Shorty’s, the P.O.D. and Starbucks.  These four beloved concepts on campus will all exist under one roof, creating an all-you-can-carry dining area, so students who want to order from different places can still share a meal.  Diners might choose to eat inside or outside on the terrace, under the solar-paneled pergola looking out onto Wait Chapel or the trees.

The new dining hall will also incorporate more measures of efficiency.  The dishwasher will use recirculated water for its pre-rinse and the lowest water consumption in its class, with less than .43 gallons per rack, for its main cycle.  Almost all appliances will be Energy Star-rated.

Through these sustainable measures and features, the university is, as Borick says, “doing the right things because this is the way building should be built.”

By Kiana Courtney, Communications and Outreach Intern

Faces of Sustainability: Rogan Kersh

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Photo courtesy of Ken Bennet

As a member of the graduating class of 1986, Wake Forest’s new Provost, Dr. Rogan Kersh, is no stranger to the university.  Neither is he a stranger to sustainability, an interest he has explored for several decades, or as he quips “since before Al Gore made it cool.” Dr. Kersh has two motivations behind his long-term exploration of sustainability: family and politics. He explains “I am the son and husband of deeply committed environmentalists, [who share a] lifelong passion for environmental preservation, appreciating the bounty of nature, and helping to sustain what it means to be on this earth.”  In addition, a general interest in politics also spurs Dr. Kersh’s exploration of the field.  He adds, “as someone interested in political science and public policy, you find your way to an issue as a way to channel your energies; environment and environmental sustainability have been that for me.”

These twin inspirations keep sustainability a continual theme in Dr. Kersh’s professional and personal life. During his tenure as a professor and associate dean at NYU, he advocated for sustainability through seats on numerous committees and incorporated an environmental perspective into his classes.  His apartment in New York, located within an NYU student residence hall, was also designed to model sustainable campus living.  Dr. Kersh owes much to his former apartment, created by retrofitting a historic building with sustainable features like cork floors and countertops made of recycled medical glass.  Not only did living in such a space illustrate his commitment to reducing his impact, he maintains that his wife, Sara Pesek, most recently the Director of an EPA sponsored Environmental Finance Center, agreed to marry him in part because of his “eco-forward apartment.”

Sustainability will play a role in a comprehensive wellbeing initiative led by Dr. Kersh and the Office of the Provost.  Environmental wellness is one of eight dimensions of wellness the Office of the Provost will incorporate into the holistic examination of wellbeing for all university constituents. Specifically, Dr. Kersh identifies the built environment as one pertinent aspect of environmental wellness to be considered as part of the new wellbeing initiative.  He is proud of Wake Forest’s existing leadership in environmentally responsible construction, particularly South Hall, a LEED Gold-certified first-year student residence hall that features low emission materials and a low-impact ventilation system.

According to Dr. Kersh, sustainability should also play a role in the Wake Forest classroom. His own initial academic exposure to sustainability traces back to his undergraduate career, when he studied the Green Party of West Germany in a course on western European politics.  Dr. Kersh believes incorporating sustainability into the classroom can go well beyond explicit course content though, serving as an aspect of university-wide pedagogy.  He explains “what is special about a Wake Forest education is that subject matter is communicated in the most advanced way possible and the professor also brings other kinds of life enhancing [perspectives] to the classroom…sustainability, which I define as being a responsible steward of the planet we inhabit, is a part of that.”

Dr. Kersh has both the heart of a Deacon and the experience and insight gained from a remarkable career.  He has a vision for the university that both honors Wake Forest’s heritage and embraces necessary innovation.  His lifelong commitment to sustainability bodes well for the continued forward momentum of social and environmental responsibility on campus; as he states “I stand ready and excited to implement new ideas.”

 By Annabel Lang, Presidential Fellow for the Office of Sustainability

 

Solar energy helps power “The Barn”

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

The new campus student social space known as “The Barn,” became the first building on campus to feature solar electric PV cells on July 28. Like all new construction on campus, the Barn was designed to meet, at a minimum, LEED Certification standards. The space will be utilized for campus concerts, parties, student activities and other events after it opens officially on September 1.

The 3.7 kW solar pv system, installed by Volt Energy, consists of 16 panels that are expected to produce 4825 kW-h of clean solar energy per year for the next three decades. Though the panels alone cannot power the building, they will offset the fossil fuel-generated energy consumed by lights and fans in the venue, particularly during the sunny North Carolina summer months.

The panels were ranked among the top three solar panels on the market by the Livestrong Foundation in June.

Over the lifespan of the system, the 16 panels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78 tons of CO2 over the lifespan of the unit. 3,136 trees would have to be planted to equal the greenhouse gas reduction of this one system, according to Volt Energy.

Want to know more?

  • Read background on The Barn here.
  • View a brochure on solar energy and The Barn here.
  • Learn about our other green buildings here.

By Caitlin Brooks, Wake Forest Fellow

Welcome Center receives LEED Gold

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

The university’s elegant new Welcome Center received LEED Gold certification on July 14, 2011. The Welcome Center opened its doors for business on March 22. Construction on the building began in December 2009 and was completed in February of this year. The center’s LEED Gold designation exceeds the university’s minimum green building standards – all new buildings are designed to a minimum LEED Silver standard.

Some of the building’s many sustainable features include:

  • Low-VOC materials used throughout the interior of the space
  • Regionally sourced materials: Over 30 percent of the construction material (by cost) was sourced within 500 miles of the building site
  • FSC-Certified wood
  • Materials reuse: restored historic lighting fixtures from original Reynolda Campus buildings were used in some rooms to lend a sense of history and keep the fixtures out of landfills
  • Recycling: The general contractor was able to divert nearly 90% of the waste generated during construction from the landfill for recycling and reuse

Read more about the new Welcome Center and view a full gallery of photos.

Explore the university’s other LEED certified buildings.

South Hall earns gold

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

South Hall, completed in August 2010, has been awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. With solar panels on the roof to heat water and touch screens in the hallways for monitoring energy usage, the residence hall reflects the University’s commitment to sustainability across campus.  The four-level, 67,000-square-foot building on the south side of campus houses 201 students.

“Wake Forest is extremely excited and proud to have received this award,” said Jim Alty, associate vice president for Facilities and Campus Services.  “It recognizes our commitment to sustainable development in striving to build facilities that minimize harm to the environment, while also creating a comfortable indoor experience for the occupants.”

Read more…

South Hall

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

South Hall received LEED Gold Certification in May 2011.

  • South Hall is one of two building on campus that allows occupants to monitor energy and water usage through a Lucid Dashboard. See what residents see: check the weather, compare water, gas and electricity usage of different wings of the building and learn more about South Hall’s green features here.
  • Read Winston-Salem Journal coverage of the building here.
  • Learn about some of the green features of the Hall in this News Service article.
  • Peruse the South Hall Brochure of features distributed at the ribbon cutting ceremony on August 22, 2010.

Click here to return to the Built Environment page.

Welcome Center

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Welcome CenterThe new Welcome Center opened its doors on March 22, 2011. The building received LEED  Gold certification in July 2011.

  • The Welcome Center is one of two building on campus that allows occupants to monitor energy and water usage through a Lucid Dashboard. See what Admissions staff and visitors see: check the weather, compare water, gas and electricity usage of different wings of the building and learn more about the Welcome Center’s green features here.
  • Peruse the Welcome Center Brochure distributed at the ribbon cutting ceremony on March 22 here.
  • Take a virtual tour of the Welcome Center.
  • Read News Services press coverage of the building here and here.
  • View a time-lapse video of the building’s construction on YouTube.

Click here to return to the Built Environment page.

LEED designed Welcome Center opens

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Photo by De'Noia Woods, Photography intern

The university’s elegant new Welcome Center officially opened its doors for business on March 22. Construction on the building began in December 2009 and was completed in February of this year. The design firm, Lambert Architecture + Interiors, designed the building to exceed the university’s minimum green building standards by designing to LEED Gold specifications.

Some of the building’s many sustainable features include:

  • Low-VOC materials used throughout the interior of the space
  • Regionally sourced materials: Over 30 percent of the construction material (by cost) was sourced within 500 miles of the building site
  • FSC-Certified wood
  • Materials reuse: restored historic lighting fixtures from original Reynolda Campus buildings were used in some rooms to lend a sense of history and keep the fixtures out of landfills
  • Recycling: The general contractor was able to divert nearly 90% of the waste generated during construction from the landfill for recycling and reuse

Read more about the new Welcome Center and view a full gallery of photos.

Diane Dailey Golf Learning Center receives LEED Gold Certification

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Photo by De'Noia Woods, Photography Intern

The university’s first ever LEED-certified building came in a rather small package: that of the Diane Dailey Golf Learning Center. Though the building encompasses a much smaller area than either the LEED-designed South Hall or new Admissions Center, through careful design and collaboration, the team ensured LEED Gold certification.

Designed and funded in response to the golf teams’ profile on the national athletic stage, the building features high-tech updates including heated hitting bays, a state-of-the-art filming system and new golf radar technology. The building also houses an indoor putting room outfitted with the latest video putting training system.

“We needed to help our student athletes be successful in their sport by improving the practice facilities,” Becky Ward, Associate Athletic Director of Special Projects, said.

Ward acted as the owner representative on the project and usually heads up Athletics design and construction-related projects by acting as a bridge between the Athletics department, the wider university and outside contractors.

In addition to meeting the technical needs of the student athletes, the new Golf Center was the first athletics structure to feature an emphasis on sustainable design and construction at the university. LEED-accredited architect, Larry Robbs of Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce Architects, worked as the lead designer on the project. He used his extensive background as a LEED designer to work with Ward and the university to eke out as many LEED certification points as possible from the small space.

One of the most successful category for the project was “Sustainable Sites.” This group of sustainable criteria takes into account everything from light pollution to landscaping to footprint of building compared to size of site. The golf center earned 10 out of 14 points in this category because of its prime location and attention to exterior aesthetics. Its location within the Reynolda Campus ensured pedestrian access and eliminated the need for an asphalt parking area.

In addition, Robbs and Ward worked extensively with David Davis, Manager of Landscaping Services, to minimize manicured areas and the need for irrigation and to maximize the use of native plants to encourage wildlife habitat and decrease maintenance. It is important to note that when determining eligibility for LEED, the driving range was not included as part of the building site.

Other key sustainable features included the use of an innovative heat reflecting roofing tile that closely matches the aesthetic of the campus but reflects sunlight to decrease energy consumption for cooling in the summer. The interior of the building was entirely outfitted with paints, sealants and adhesives that were low in VOCs to improve air quality inside the facility.

“In the long run, it’s not about the certificate hanging on the wall. It is about our environment, our staff in the environment and the student athletes in the environment,” Ward said of the importance of sustainable design.

Ward is currently working on an educational campaign for the building to instruct students on how best to use the new facilities and increase awareness of its unique features.

“Sustainable design requires active participation by the user of the building,” Robbs said. “That’s the only thing that will make it work.”

By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern