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3rd floor of building L a model of green design

Susan Pendergraft (left), associate project manager with HuntonBrady Architects, and Robin Dowsey (right), manager of sustainable design and construction with Wharton-Smith Inc., lead a tour of building L for members of the U.S. Green Building Council Seminole State student chapter on Aug. 19.

Students taking classes in the newly renovated third floor of building L on Seminole State’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus will see green technology at work.

Although it’s the oldest classroom building on the campus, building L’s third floor now is eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“Choosing building L – a building that first opened in 1970 -- to be the first for LEED certification reinforces our commitment to sustainability,” says Joe Sarnovsky, vice president of Administrative Services and chief financial officer for the College.

Led by Orlando-based HuntonBrady Architects and construction group Wharton-Smith Inc., the renovation project began in August 2010 and included substantial interior and exterior work. The $14.1 million project includes the remodeling of an adjacent office suite (building F), scheduled to begin in January 2012.

The new third floor of building L contains 21 smart classrooms, a conference room and student gathering spaces. It opened for classes on Aug. 22.

Among the project’s LEED features:

  • The building uses a highly reflective roof to reflect solar heat gain, saving air conditioning energy.
  • High-performance, insulated glass curtain walls produce natural lighting while reducing heat gain and cooling loss.
  • Wood-based products, including ceiling tiles, are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, indicating responsible forest management.
  • The restrooms’ ultra low flow fixtures use 35 percent less water than those in a typical building.
  • Daylighting sensors dim the lights near the windows, and occupancy sensors ensure that lights are off when rooms are empty.
  • The air conditioning systems are 15 percent more energy efficient than those in a typical building and include carbon dioxide sensors to regulate the amount of fresh air brought into each room, based on the number of occupants.
  • More than 85 percent of the construction waste was recycled instead of going to a landfill.
  • More than 20 percent of the construction materials are recycled content.
  • Paints, sealants, adhesives and coatings all have low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, improving the building’s air quality.

The design team has submitted the building design to the U.S. Green Building Council and will submit the construction details shortly, says Mike Hess, principal with exp U.S. Services Inc., the project’s LEED consultant. “It will probably take two to three months to hear from the USGBC about the silver LEED certification.”

The building will serve as a convenient learning lab for students in the College’s School of Engineering, Design and Construction, says Cheryl Knodel, program manager for the Interior Design Program.

“Making renovated spaces green is even more challenging than when you’re building from the ground up,” Knodel said during a tour of the third floor. “This building will show students it’s possible to renovate a 40-year-old building and incorporate today’s technologies to make it energy efficient and create a healthier environment.”

Interior design student Eve DeGroot was impressed by “the glass walls, all the lighting that’s coming in, and the views” of the outdoors as she walked the corridors on the building’s perimeter. “Instead of having just a wall next to you, you feel like you’re outside when you’re going down the hall.”

DeGroot, who is president of the USGBC student chapter at Seminole State, notes that one of the qualifications for LEED certification is how much the occupants enjoy their surroundings.

“Students are really going to enjoy this building,” she says.

Situated on more than 200 acres in the geographical center of Seminole County, Seminole State College's Sanford/Lake Mary Campus first opened in 1966. For more information, please visit the campus page.

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