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Green Construction



Wedgewood Academic Center

Wedgewood Academic CenterThe Wedgewood Academic Center—which houses Belmont University’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS), the College of Sciences and Mathematics (CSM) and the College of Theology and Christian Ministry (CTCM)—was designed and constructed using sustainable practices to help reduce its environmental impact. To verify these best practices, the building is pursuing LEED® certification. The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria in six major environmental categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design.

  • Site Features: Wedgewood Academic Center’s site has been designed to support ongoing sustainable efforts. Parking is provided in an underground garage to reduce the urban heat island effect and preserve green space. (Heat islands are areas with unnaturally high temperatures, common in cities due to extensive dark colored roofing and asphalt.) The parking garage also features parking spaces for car/vanpool and fuel efficient and low emitting vehicles. Over 50 percent of the site will be protected as open space, providing landscaped areas for Belmont’s students, employees and visitors to enjoy. An accessible green roof was installed to provide enhanced views for visitors, increase building insulation and reduce stormwater runoff.
  • Water Efficiency: High-efficiency plumbing fixtures were installed to optimize water savings at Wedgewood Academic Center. The interior plumbing fixtures are expected to save over 66,000 gallons of water each year compared to code compliant fixtures. That’s the equivalent of over 420,000 20 oz. bottles of water, saved every year. In addition to interior water use, the landscaping was designed with water efficiency in mind. Drought tolerant plants and drip irrigation equipment are used combined with moisture-sensing devices to avoid watering plants unnecessarily.
  • Energy Efficiency: Energy efficiency is important at Belmont; an energy model based on the Wedgewood Academic Center’s design was used to estimate an annual energy cost savings of more than 30 percent. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are used to drastically reduce the amount of energy used for lighting. An active chilled beam system was installed to reduce heating and cooling energy, one of the only HVAC systems of its type in Nashville. Best practices during design and construction also included building commissioning, a process used to verify proper equipment installation and operation.
  • Materials Purchasing & Waste Management: Recycling areas are offered throughout Wedgewood Academic Center. Students, employees and visitors are encouraged to use readily accessible containers for recyclable plastics, paper, cardboard and metals. More than 75 percent of the waste produced during construction was recycled, diverting over 900 tons of waste from local landfills. Environmentally preferable materials used to build Wedgewood Academic Center include recycled materials, materials produced regionally and wood produced through sustainable forestry techniques.
  • Indoor Air Quality: As a facility dedicated to learning, maintaining good indoor air quality is very important at Wedgewood Academic Center. The building was designed to ensure that plenty of fresh outside air would be provided through mechanical systems. Low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants and flooring products were used to reduce occupant exposure to chemicals. Care was taken to ensure that composite woods used at the facility do not contain urea formaldehyde. Additionally, best practices were followed during construction to protect duct work and absorptive materials from dust and moisture.

Baskin CenterBaskin Center

The U.S. Green Building Council awarded Belmont University’s Randall and Sadie Baskin Center with LEED certification at the Gold level in October 2012, making the building the largest LEED-certified university academic building in Middle Tennessee as well as the first LEED-certified law school building in the state, according to information provided by the USGBC. The 75,000-square-foot Baskin Center sits atop a five-level underground garage and houses Belmont University’s College of Law.

The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review are Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design.

Parking for Energy Efficient Cars
The Baskin Center’s site has been designed to support ongoing sustainable efforts. Parking is provided in an underground garage to reduce the urban heat island effect and preserve green space. The garage also features preferred parking spaces for car/vanpool and fuel efficient and low emitting vehicles. Over 50 percent of the site will be protected as open space, providing landscaped areas for Belmont’s students, staff, faculty and visitors to enjoy.

Water Efficiency
High-efficiency plumbing fixtures were installed to optimize water savings at the Baskin Center as well as drip irrigation equipment and moisture-sensing devices. The interior plumbing fixtures are expected to save over 165,000 gallons of water each year, when compared to code compliant fixtures.

Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is important at Belmont; an energy model based on the Baskin Center’s design was used to estimate an annual energy cost savings of up to 26 percent.

Materials Purchasing & Waste Management
Recycling areas are offered throughout the Baskin Center. Students, employees and guests are encouraged to use readily accessible containers for recyclable plastics, paper, cardboard and metals. Over 75 percent of the waste produced during construction was recycled, diverting over 400 tons of waste from local landfills.

Indoor Air Quality
The building was designed to ensure that plenty of fresh outside air would be provided through mechanical systems. Low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants, and flooring products were used to reduce occupant exposure to chemicals.

Dickens Hall

In 2011, Belmont University built a 560-car parking garage and 295-bed residence hall in the Bruin Hills Apartment area as part of a continuing effort to provide on-campus living experiences and address the demand for on-campus parking for students. The new facility incorporates a number of green features including:

  • a variable flow refrigerant HVAC system
  • a partially landscaped covered garage
  • generous day lighting to reduce energy costs
  • motion sensors on residence room lighting
  • energy efficient lighting and appliances
  • low emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings and carpet
In addition, the structure is being built on a previously developed campus site; a 56-bed complex was razed, and its debris recycled, to make way for a building plan that will ultimately house nine times that many students.

McWhorter Hall

The only large extensive green roof on an educational facility in Nashville, the green roof serves several purposes including a reduction in the "heat island effect," which refers to the trend of generally higher temperatures in urban areas as opposed to more suburban areas. The green roof lowers air temperatures which helps reduce that effect. Green roofs also provide natural habitats for wildlife (birds, insects, etc.) and reduce pollution by holding pollutants rather than washing into groundwater, sewer or drainage systems. In addition, the green roof can retain some rainwater for irrigation and can reduce the heating/cooling costs by providing lower temperatures around air intake systems. McWhorter Hall is the Project Innovations 2011 Merit Winner for New Construction.



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