On July 16,2014 the Stocker Astroscience center was officially classified as LEED silver. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. The categories are Green, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
"FIU Stocker Astroscience Center Silver LEED certification will be based on a number of criteria that promote reduced energy consumption and environmental impact. Our building is expected to receive 56 out of 110 possible credits under the LEED-NC version 3 rating system. /
The following describes the LEED certification criteria and the features we implemented in the BT-814 building that met these eco-friendly goals. There are five major categories of credits in LEED, the Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. All of them are as equally important, and that is why you will see a range of sustainable features when looking around the FIU Stocker Astroscience Center.
- Close proximity to housing and basic services means more walking/biking and fewer car trips.
- Easy access to mass transit, along with preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel efficient vehicles, creates a reduction in single-car driving.
- Biodiversity is promoted by maintaining 75% of vegetated open space on the property.
- Highly reflective roof coatings and hardscapes reduce the impact of heat island effect on human and wildlife habitats.
- Light pollution minimized through careful calculations of light trespass from building and site lighting, which in return reduces sky-glow, increases night sky access and improves night visibility through glare reduction. An important feature to consider when building an observatory!
- Performed quality control of all energy systems installed in the building, making sure they are calibrated and performing according to the design intent. Doing so reduces the energy wastes resulting from defective or underperforming equipment.
- CFC-based refrigerant were not used in the base building HVAC systems, nor were HCFCs or halons, which greatly helps to reduce the emissions of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and global warming.
- In an effort to monitor ventilation system performance and minimize the staff’s exposure to indoor pollutants, outdoor airflow measurement sensors and a CO2 sensor in all multi-occupant rooms continually monitor ventilation system performance.
- To reduce indoor air quality problems resulting from construction and to help sustain the comfort and well-being of construction workers, staff and students, the general contractor implemented an IAQ management plan during construction.
- To reduce indoor air contaminants that may be irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of installers, staff and students, contractors used low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, VCT, carpet and composite wood products to ensure low levels of airborne contaminants.
- To provide staff a high level of system controllability, all workstations have their own thermostat, task light, and occupancy sensor which shuts off light when the space stays occupied for a certain amount of time.
- The building is designed to comply with ASHRAE Standard 55-2004, which provides a comfortable thermal environment that supports the productivity and well-being of staff and students. In addition, a survey of the building staff’s comfort level will be used to adjust and/or maintain acceptable comfort levels as needed."
- Courtesy of Jason Biondi, Energy Cost Solutions Group.