The Student Experience Center (SEC) will utilize a number of sustainable strategies in its design: energy efficient lighting, day lighting, passive/natural ventilation and highly efficient mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems.
The SEC will have a large atrium or "Winter Garden" which will create a year-round tempered gathering space. The space will be warmed in the Winter by sunlight, while a portion of the return (tempered) air , ordinarily exhausted from the programmed spaces at the perimeter, will be recovered to provide the atrium space with partially conditioned air. This will reduce heating energy. Passive, natural ventilation and carefully oriented glazing will keep summer temperatures within a few degrees of ambient.
Other "green" measures would be: the use of water efficient fixtures; reuse of storm water for flushing/irrigation; the use of materials with high recycled content and sustainable manufacturing processes; construction waste diversion from Landfill; the use of local materials; low VOC emitting materials. Additional possible measures could be a green roof, solar water heaters, and/or solar power panels.
This is a general description of LEED from the US Green Building Council's website:
"LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts."
ADA and Accessibility
The Student Experience Center will exceed the codes for ADA compliance and the accessibility will extend to the landscape and hardscape outside the building. The building will be designed utilizing the concepts and principles of Universal Design. The architect will work closely with the Students to design a building that is usable by all, without the need for adaption. Universal Design (U.D.) principles are Equitable Use, Flexibility in Use, Simple and Intuitive Design, Perceptible Information, Tolerance for Error, Low Physical Effort, and Size and Space for Approach and Use. This U.D. approach will provide all the users a building that goes beyond ADA and code requirements. In addition, the building and site will also be reviewed by the University's Disability Access Services (DAS) or other review authority associated with the University's Accessibility Review and Mission.