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College earns its first LEED certificate

The renovated third floor of building L contains 21 smart classrooms and numerous gathering places for students.

Seminole State College of Florida’s oldest classroom building has become the College’s first LEED-certified building.

Renovations to the third floor of building L, located on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, have earned a gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for promoting energy-saving green technology. Only four other facilities in Seminole County are LEED certified, and only two have a gold certification.

The renovations, which included substantial interior and exterior work, were completed in August 2011. The $14.1 million project includes the remodeling of an adjacent office suite (building F), scheduled for completion by December.

Among building L’s LEED features:

  • A highly reflective roof to reflect solar heat gain, saving air conditioning energy.
  • High-performance, insulated glass curtain walls that produce natural lighting while reducing heat gain and cooling loss.
  • Wood-based products, including ceiling tiles, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, indicating responsible forest management.
  • Ultra low-flow restroom fixtures that use 35 percent less water than those in a typical building.
  • Daylighting sensors that dim the lights near the windows, and occupancy sensors that turn off lights when rooms are empty.
  • Air-conditioning systems that 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.
  • Paints, sealants, adhesives and coatings with low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, improving the building’s air quality.

In addition, about 75 percent of the construction waste from the remodeling was recycled.

Orlando-based HuntonBrady Architects and construction group Wharton-Smith Inc. were the project’s contractors.

The third floor of building L contains 21 smart classrooms, a conference room and student gathering spaces. A commemorative LEED plaque will be placed in the building to mark the honor.

The renovations also received a Design Award from the American Institute of Architects.

Since opening for class in August of 2011, the building has served 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 shows students that 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.”

Seminole State College of Florida is committed to using sustainable green design practices and technologies on its four campuses. The College’s School of Engineering, Design and Construction is a leader in integrating green building practices throughout the curriculum. For more information, visit the Engineering, Design and Construction home page.

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