CLEMSON – Clemson University’s South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) Energy Innovation Center at the Restoration Institute in North Charleston has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification accredits buildings that meet rigorous standards for sustainability, water and energy efficiency, resource selection and indoor environmental quality.
The center houses the world’s most-advanced wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility and the Duke Energy eGRID (Electrical Grid Research Innovation and Development). The combined facility is capable of full-scale highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing of advanced drivetrain systems for wind turbines and other multi-megawatt devices, such as those for energy-storage, photovoltaic smart inverters, distributed generators, micro-grids and smart grid technology.
“This rating has been accomplished through a diligent effort by all the involved project staff and contractors,” said Nick Rigas, SCE&G Energy Innovation Center director. “Given the facility is an industrial-grade center and the site was a brownfield, there were many concerns as to how to even achieve the silver rating required by the university.”
Engineering design was performed by AEC Engineering in Minneapolis, and Choate Construction of Mount Pleasant provided construction management services. Design of the facility had to take into account poor soil conditions, seismic considerations, hurricane resistance and many other factors that come with the design and construction of a one-of-a-kind facility.
Advanced technology designed into the facility will recover 75 to 80 percent of the 22.5 megawatts of electricity needed to operate the test dynamometers.
“We are very pleased and proud that the Clemson SCE&G Energy Innovation Center has achieved LEED Gold status,” said Thomas Lorentz Sr., vice president of AEC Engineering. “It is a fitting tribute to the project team that this unique, world-class energy research facility be recognized as having successfully integrated sustainability and efficiency in the design and construction process.”
More than 50 percent of the existing building materials, including concrete, cladding and structural steel were reused. This re-use included the repurposing or remanufacture of structural steel elements into new uses for the materials with an end result that more than 75 percent of what might have been construction debris was recycled. Environmental concerns were further addressed by enhancing the facility’s indoor air quality by using low-emission admitting compounds for paints, flooring wood and agricultural fiber projects. Airflow monitoring systems and occupancy sensors for lighting will provide for greater energy efficiency.
“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to the U.S. Green Building Council’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Sara O’Mara, LEED Fellow and director of LEED/Environmental Services for Choate Construction Co. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Clemson’s SCE&G Energy Innovation Center is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”
Clemson University SCE&G Energy Innovation Center
Clemson University’s SCE&G Energy Innovation Center strives to provide high-value, high-quality and cost-competitive testing services to industry that will lead to lowering the cost of energy. We are committed to building a sustainable future through education, collaborative research, strategic partnerships and workforce development, and accelerating new technologies to market.
AEC Engineering Inc. is a fully integrated part of IDOM, an international engineering, architectural and consulting company of 2,300-plus professionals in 37 offices globally (www.idom.com). Our Advanced Design and Analysis group focuses on designing complex facilities, systems and mechanisms. Our firm also specializes in power generation, oil and gas, steel, mining, manufacturing and engineering for science projects. In addition to Clemson University’s SCE&G Energy Innovation Center, we have designed other challenging projects in North America, including a 110 MW concentrated solar power plant in Nevada, a telescope enclosure for the world’s largest solar telescope in Hawaii and owner’s engineer for a 252,000,000-gallon greenfield crude oil terminal in Alberta.
Choate Construction Company
As one of the largest general contractors in the Southeast, Choate Construction Company considers its reputation to be its No. 1 asset with its future success founded upon the strength of its customer relationships. Choate Construction excels in both base and interior construction with office locations in Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Raleigh and Savannah. Choate strives to lead the industry in financially viable, functional solutions and continually invests in the tools to do so, promoting advances in Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, LEED Rating system and Risk Mitigation. For more information, please visit www.choateco.com.
|Photograph courtesy of Brasfield & Gorrie, General Contractors.|
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Greenville, SC with LEED Gold Certification. The new 78,000 square foot outpatient clinic expands primary care services to Veterans and their families in the northern sector of the state of South Carolina.
Located on a rehabilitated site near the Greenville Hospital System, the new VA Outpatient Clinic is close to public transportation and community amenities. The clinic has improved energy performance by over 30% to reduce environmental and economic impacts associated with excessive energy use – not a small feat considering healthcare facilities have one of the highest energy usage intensities of any building type. The clinic’s energy savings are a direct result of implementing a combination of strategies: optimizing the thermal envelope and reducing thermal loads inside the building by installing occupancy sensors and daylighting controls in perimeter offices and waiting areas, allowing for more efficient HVAC equipment such as high-efficiency condensing boilers (up to 95% efficient) and a heat recovery chiller that recovers rejected heat from the condenser-side and is able to simultaneously provide heat and cooling during favorable conditions. The clinic has also focused significant efforts on enhancing indoor environmental quality (IEQ), one of the most important environmental concerns for a healthcare facility, as well as promoting occupant comfort, well-being, and productivity.
|Photograph courtesy of Brasfield & Gorrie.|
Bob Hughes, President of Hughes Development Corporation, reflected, “We accepted the opportunity to develop a new Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic (VA OPC) in Greenville to benefit the many veterans across Upstate South Carolina by providing a first-class, sustainable facility to meet their healthcare needs. Our company has focused on sustainable development for decades. The government’s standard for the VA OPC was LEED Silver, but our team’s goal was never less than LEED Gold. It was our pleasure to provide the VA OPC with a LEED Gold facility, the first of its kind, to benefit the veterans.”
The success of this project is due to a collaborative effort between the owner/developer (Hughes Development Corporation), design team (Design Strategies), contractor (Brasfield & Gorrie), and LEED consultant (Epsten Group).
Hughes Development Corporation is a full-service real estate development company that focuses on downtown redevelopment, urban infill, and mixed-use development. It has been the company’s objective to build sustainable buildings that will last lifetimes and benefit the community and future generations.
Epsten Group provided LEED consulting, energy modeling, and commissioning services for the Greenville VA Outpatient Clinic project. Epsten Group’s legacy is innovation in the built environment and building certification services. With their proven expertise in sustainable design, LEED consulting, energy modeling and building commissioning, they make it easy for their clients to adopt sustainable building goals that result in functional, affordable and attractive spaces. Their state-of-the industry knowledge and in-depth experience serves a broad clientele, including owners, developers, program managers, construction managers, architects, engineers and green building consultants.
For further information contact:
Johnna S. Keller, Project Manager
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the York County Natural Gas Authority (YCNGA) Customer Service Center in Rock Hill, SC with LEED v3.0 Silver Certification. This is the first LEED certified Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Filling Station project in SC.
Designed by Yates Chreitzberg Hughes (YCH) Architects, and constructed by JM Cope Construction of Rock Hill, SC, the YCNGA Customer Service Center consists of a 17,700 square foot, two-story building that was constructed on a wood pile foundation in order to re-develop an urban building site containing deep extending unsuitable soils. The facility serves as the Owner’s primary customer service and bill pay offices, and also includes an appliance showroom, teller line and drive thru lanes. The project site also houses a CNG Filling Station, which is utilized by the YCNGA for fueling of its own fleet of natural gas vehicles and is also open to the general public.
The facility was designed to use 20% less energy and 35% less water than code required minimums. All hot water heating within the building is provided by tankless, gas fired water heaters, reducing the amount of energy needed for water heating by over 50%. In addition, 1,200 tons, or 98%, of the waste generated during the construction and demolition process was sent to a recycling center and diverted from landfills. Low VOC interior finishes and abundant windows for natural daylighting improve the indoor environmental quality for building users.
At the forefront of sustainability for the project is a CNG Filling Station, which currently supplies approximately 10,000 gasoline gallon equivalents per month and serves both the YCNGA fleet and also the general public. As a natural gas energy provider, YCNGA has utilized the CNG Filling Station as a resource to promote the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles and to provide much needed fueling access for these vehicles in the area.
YCH Architects is a full service Architectural firm located in Concord, NC, which provides regional services throughout the Southeast focusing on sustainability and environmentally responsible design solutions. The Firm’s design portfolio centers on Corporate, Healthcare, Public Education, Higher Education, Municipal / Government and Automotive / Motorsports.
For further information contact:
Bill Hughes, AIA, LEED (704) 788 2000
September 29, 2012
A quarter of all Americans walk through the doors of a school every day. Yet instead of walking into places of opportunity, millions enter buildings where the air they breathe is filled with toxins and mold, where classrooms are poorly lit and overcrowded, and where resources are limited and outdated. Too many of our children are learning in buildings that are compromising their health and ability to succeed.
Our kids deserve better. Where they learn matters.
Green Apple is an initiative of the Center for Green schools at USGBC to put all children in schools where they have clean and healthy air to breath, where energy and resources are conserved, and where they can be inspired to dream of a brighter future. We know how to create high performing schools that save hundreds of thousands of dollars and provide safer learning environments for our children. But we can’t do it alone.
The first annual Green Apple Day of Service took place on Sept. 29, 2012. For one day, advocates from around the world, including students, teachers, parents, elected officials, organizations, companies and more, came together in support of healthy, sustainable schools by taking action in their communities.
The USGBC Midlands Branch met on Sept. 29th at Langford Elementary School in Blythewood, South Carolina.
September 19, 2012 – USGBC hosted a tour of the new Whole Foods complex, which appears to be on track to transform an outdated retail corridor and to demonstrate best “green” practices as it does so. While the focus of the tour was on lighting and stormwater management, the group also got insights into how one retail decision can transform an entire neighborhood.
Midlands Branch is working with Habitat for Humanity and USC on their upcoming “Green House on Greene St.” The concept is to a build LEED for Homes on Greene Street then transport the house to its final destination. The Sustainability Institute was gracious to take us on a tour of their award winning facility, touted as one of the greenest offices in the region, serving both as the headquarters of The Sustainability Institute’s Energy Conservation Corps program, as well as a public center for learning about cutting-edge, sustainable materials and technologies for energy efficiency. This residential facility showcase the designs and products from industry leading companies and local artisans in the Charleston area.
On May 2, 2012 the USGBC South Carolina Chapter held its third annual Green Schools Summit. This year’s summit theme was Common Ground. The concept of Common Ground was to host a bi-partisan event where both sides could come to the table to realize that a net zero school, like the one built in Kentucky, could also be built here in South Carolina. The event was held on the USC Columbia Campus at the Thomas Cooper Library. Sponsors for the event included the SC Energy Office, xpedx, Environment & Sustainability Program at USC and GEES. Community partners for the event included; Senator Phil Leventis, AIA SC Chapter, Center for Green Schools, Green Steps, The Riley Institute at Furman, CEFPI, Edens and the Conservation Voters of South Carolina.
The Summit featured four tracks that were designed to showcase the success of the green schools and sustainable communities movement in SC and beyond. The first session focused on the innovation in building and constructing the Thomas Cooper Library, Special Collections wing, followed by a presentation from Nate Allen, Green Schools Advocacy Lead and Matt Pearce, Campaign Specialist – US Green Building Council, focusing on South Carolina and national accomplishments in the field of Green Schools. Senator Phil Leventis, who gave a personal perspective on green schools and why he is so invested in the SC Green Schools caucus, hosted the working lunch. The first afternoon session was presented by xpedx on green cleaning solutions for your business and school. The second afternoon session was presented by the SC Energy office and focused on energy savings. The wrap up session focused on where do we go from here. The sixty-one attendees have made a pledge to help host four separate events for the upcoming Green Apple Day of Service to be held on September 29th through out the state. For more information or to help please contact Melissa Le Roy at 843-329-3131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Green Schools Common Ground Summit ended the day with a hands-on tour of the Special Collections wing of the Thomas Cooper Library before everyone headed to the reception that was held at Edens overlooking the State house and grounds.