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A project that expanded Colby College’s Cotter Union by 18,000 square feet with the additions of Pulver Pavilion and a new bookstore was LEED certified at the silver level by the U.S. Green Building Council, college officials announced May 1. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the accepted national standard for rating green or sustainable building construction, and silver is a notch above basic LEED certification.

Pulver Pavilion, which opened in 2007 has fulfilled its planned role as a hub of campus life. The new bookstore, a two-story, 9,000-square-foot addition on the east side of the building, opened in June 2008.

Among 29 categories where the project received points for green elements or technologies contributing to the LEED-silver rating are:

– optimal energy performance from a high-efficiency building envelope, windows, and heating and cooling systems;

– reuse or recycling of approximately 88.5 percent of on-site generated construction waste and the use of locally available construction materials with high recycled content;

– for air quality, use of interior finishes (paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, carpets) that emit fewer vapors;

– water-conserving faucets and toilets and waterless urinals that help cut water consumption by more than 50 percent from the calculated baseline;

– a commitment to purchase renewable power to offset 100 percent of the annualĀ  electricity use for at least two years;

– use of vegetable oil rather than petroleum-based hydraulic oil in the elevator;

– use of native, drought-tolerant plants;

– use of Green Seal cleaning agents; and

– high-efficiency motors for pumps and fans.

Key members of the Physical Plant Department team managing the Cotter project included Director of Physical Plant Patricia Murphy, P.E.; College Architect Joe Feely, AIA, project manager; Environmental Program Manager Dale DeBlois, assistant project manager; and Engineering Technician Andy Gockel, LEED documentation coordinator. They and the entire Physical Plant Department project management team are professionally accredited by the LEED program, which signals the College’s commitment to environmental initiatives in certified buildings as well as smaller renovation projects.

Cotter Union is the third Colby building to be LEED certified. The Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center (2005) was Colby’s first LEED-certified building and one of the first LEED academic buildings in Maine. The Diamond Building, (2007) also is LEED certified. Two other projects completed in 2008 — renovations in the Pierce and Perkins-Wilson residence halls — have been submitted and are awaiting LEED review and certification.