West Center Will
Be Green in Design
After encouraging recycling efforts
across the campus for years, Winthrop officials are committed to take
the next step.
Walter Hardin, Winthrop’s associate vice president of facilities
management, said the university will seek at least a silver Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design rating on the new Lois Rhame West
Health, Physical Education and Wellness Center.
“This is the wave of the future, and universities are leading the way
in this charge,” Hardin said. The LEED Green Building Rating System is
a voluntary national standard by the U.S. Green Building Council to
develop high-performance, sustainable buildings.
Stephanie Burton, senior associate architect of The FWA Group of
Charlotte, N.C., said a conscious effort was made by Winthrop
administrators and the design team to create an energy-efficient
building. The West Center is expected to use half the energy normally
projected under the current code requirements.
One of the main energy savers for the building is a system to
integrate daylighting with lighting controls. “The building is
oriented on a north-south axis which allows us to maximize the use of
daylight while controlling the sun to minimize unwelcome heat gain in
the summer,” Burton said. “Daylight sensors allow us to minimize the
use of electric lighting during the day.”
Another energy saver is the pool filtration system, which will greatly
reduce water consumption. The system will use ultraviolet rays to
destroy chloramines, the gases from chlorine that make your eyes burn,
and kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. The cleaned water will then
recirculate back into the pool, resulting in a water use reduction of
196,000 gallons of water per year over a traditional pool system.
The building also will have low-flow shower heads, infrared sensors
for sinks and waterless urinals. Overall the building will use 35
percent less water than normally projected.
Visitors to the building will be able to use a touch-screen kiosk in
the center’s lounge to learn about the building’s sustainable design
Burton said the LEED rating system promotes a holistic approach to
design. “All too often buildings are designed with only the
construction cost in mind which is nearsighted, because construction
cost is just a small portion of the building cost over the lifetime of
the building,” she added. “As architects and building owners, we have
a responsibility to design sustainable facilities since we are major
contributors to energy consumption.”
Typically, buildings consume 30 percent of all the energy in this
country and 60 percent of all electricity.
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