Center for Sciences LEEDs with Platinum
Beloit College's Center for the Sciences achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council. Holabird & Root and Beloit College closely collaborated throughout the design process to incorporate innovative, sustainable features throughout the facility.
The landscaping surrounding the facility is composed of plant species native to the area. A rain garden that consists of specially selected wetland plants forms a swale through which rainwater runoff from the area around the science facility is filtered and absorbed.
One third of the roof is a living, vegetated garden that provides added insulation to keep the facility cool during the summer and warm during the winter. A large concrete rainwater cistern collects and stores rainwater runoff from the science center roof, which is then used to water plants located in the greenhouse, reducing the need to pump, treat, and consume municipal water supplies.
The facility was designed to maximize the amount of time air spends in the building while still maintaining high quality indoor air. Air that enters a lab must be exhausted from the building for safety reasons, so the design first routes air through classrooms, hallways and study areas, then enters the labs at the end of its journey.
LEED certification serves as a national benchmark for environmentally sustainable construction by measuring the performance of a building in six critical areas: sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.