Windward goes green with new library

May 31st, 2009  |  by  |  Published in Campus News

Artists rendering of new library

Artist's rendering of new library

Windward Community College’s new library will not only be a state-of-the-art facility with tutoring, a computer center and even a coffee shop, but it will also be a model for green building techniques.

That’s the picture painted by representatives of Architects Hawaiʻi, who gave a spring presentation on green building standards for the college’s new Library Learning Commons.

Architects are working with engineers, electricians and others on the design plan, expected to be completed in September 2009. Construction is targeted to begin in February 2010 with completion in July 2011.

The project aims to produce a healthy and productive working environment while reducing the building’s environmental impact.

Construction will follow Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines set by the U.S. Green Building Council. The council is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving sustainable building practices.

For LEED certification, which ranges from certified to platinum, every aspect of the building construction and maintenance is reviewed to reduce energy consumption, water use and waste.

Architects Hawaiʻi’s Glenn Yokotake is a LEED specialist. His firm will oversee the construction process to make sure these guidelines are implemented.

To reduce power consumption, the roof will feature an array of solar panels expected to produce 200 kilowatts of power. Bookshelves and rooms will feature motion-activated light fixtures using high-efficiency light bulbs.

Skylights, numerous windows and a three-story atrium window facing Kāneʻohe Bay will provide natural light in 75 percent of occupied spaces. The windows will feature a coating to reduce glare and insulate the building from the sun’s heat.

Water use will be reduced with waterless urinals. Storm water will be collected from the roof and underneath the grass to be cleaned and reused. Native plants that don’t require irrigation will be planted around the library.

None of the campus banyan trees will be harmed during construction.

Waste will be reduced throughout the construction of the building. Half the waste from construction will be kept off of landfills and recycled on or off site. Lumber will be certified as coming from sustainable and ecologically friendly sites.

Materials will also be reviewed to reduce volatile organic compounds. These are materials that contain toxic chemicals, such as household cleaners.

“I think it serves as a great role model for others,” says Librarian Tara Severns. “We’re going to provide the education for people who might be thinking about building green. They can look to our building and say, ‘They incorporated these green technologies. We can do that too.’”

Reprinted from the Windward Community College Ka ʻOhana newspaper.

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