St. Petersburg, FL, June 21, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- St. Petersburg College today obtained U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Gold certification for the new Student Services Building on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus, one of the first in Pinellas County to earn the designation.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Gold is its second highest designation.
Susan Reiter, SPC’s Vice President of Facilities Planning and Institutional Services, said the U.S. Green Building Council finalized the LEED review process and issued the certification.
The new building, built by Biltmore Construction Company, was designed to serve as the campus “living room.”
“The main soul of the building is a two-story space that enhances the living/learning experiences of the students, faculty and staff on the Gibbs Campus,” said Leo Arroyo, Principal and Director of Design at Canerday, Belfsky + Arroyo, Architects, the building’s architect. “The students gravitate to it to play, collaborate on group projects, and study in-between classes.”
In January the college opened the new building along with the Natural Science and Mathematics Building on the Clearwater campus; both were built to conform to the LEED Green Building Rating System™, a nationally accepted certifier of high performance and environmentally sensitive buildings. The Clearwater building is also awaiting certification.
Both buildings were designed to decrease pollution and negative impacts on the environment; decrease impact on local aquifers; decrease energy consumption; and increase the quality of indoor air and the indoor working environment.
Some of the Student Services Building’s sustainable features include “Energy Star” product specification, and a large, energy-efficient industrial ceiling fan that makes the surrounding area feel between 8-16ºF cooler.
The building utilizes “Green Cleaning” products, and permanent entryway systems capture dirt and particulates. Reflective roofing and paving materials result in cooler surfaces.
Preferred parking is provided for fuel-efficient vehicles/carpools, and bicycle storage and shower/changing facilities are located within 200 yards of entranceways. Composite wood products contain no added urea formaldehyde, and all adhesives, paints and carpets meet low volatile organic compound (VOC) standards.
There is no smoking within 25 feet of any entry.
“The completion of the new Student Services Building demonstrates environmental sensitivity and works hand-in-hand with the new environmental degree programs recently developed at the college,” said Jon White, SPC’s College Engineer.
“With only a handful of other LEED buildings in Pinellas County, the Student Services Building is an example of the many initiatives SPC is undertaking to become a leader in the sustainability movement,” said Jason Green, SPC’s Sustainability Coordinator.
Additional facts about the building:
40 percent water savings achieved through low-flow fixtures, dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals.
At least 75 percent of all construction waste recycled.
30 percent of the total value of construction materials contains recycled content.
At least 20 percent of materials or products used were extracted, harvested, recovered, and/or manufactured within 500 miles.
At least 2.5 percent of the total value of building materials and products used are considered rapidly renewable building materials and products.
95 percent of wood-based materials and products were certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s Principles and Criteria.
About St. Petersburg College:
St. Petersburg College was founded in 1927 as a two-year institution of higher learning. Known then as St. Petersburg Junior College, it provided high-quality, fully-accredited programs with credits that were fully transferable to four-year institutions. In 2001, the Florida Legislature passed legislation allowing the college to offer four-year degrees. In response, the college dropped the word “junior” from its name and became St. Petersburg College. Today, St. Petersburg College offers programs at learning sites in St. Petersburg, Seminole, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs and elsewhere. It also offers courses and degree programs online.