The Davis Science Center earned LEED-gold certification in October, continuing a 10-year streak of successful LEED projects and underscoring Colby’s commitment to sustainability. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded LEED-gold certification in recognition of the building’s environmentally sustainable design and construction features.
The geothermally heated and cooled center, which opened this summer, is Colby’s 12th building to earn LEED certification. Now 15 percent of Colby’s square footage is LEED-certified space.
The 36,400-square-foot, $17.8-million building includes a robotics laboratory, a behavioral neuroscience research suite, and shared classrooms and computer laboratories. Architects at the firm Shepley Bulfinch designed it to reflect the traditional Georgian architecture of existing campus buildings while following best practices in sustainable design.
Green buildings contribute to Colby’s status as just the fourth college or university in the United States to achieve carbon neutrality.
“Each project we’ve done beginning with the Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center, which opened in 2005, has been LEED-certified,” said Associate Director of Physical Plant Gordon Cheesman, project manager for the Davis Science Center.
The most prominent efficiency measure in the Davis Science Center is its source of heating and cooling—30 geothermal wells that are 500 feet deep and provide 100 percent of the building’s heating and cooling energy. Among many other green features, special fixtures and fittings minimize water use by 53 percent, and low-emitting materials contribute to a safe and healthy indoor environment.
LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built to promote human and environmental health. In the certification process, points are awarded for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.