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.
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 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.
- 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
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.
Wedgewood Academic Center
As part of Belmont’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, the University is seeking Platinum-level LEED Certification for the Wedgewood Academic Center. 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 new facility is incorporating a number of green features including a green roof adjacent to biology lab space, garage recycling room and trash compactor, motion-sensor lighting in all offices, classrooms and labs and a variable flow refrigerant HVAC system.