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Chatham commissioners okay green roof, water for CCCC Sustainable Building

Chatham commissioners okay green roof, water for CCCC Sustainable Building

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The Sustainable Technologies Building under construction at Central Carolina Community CollegeR ... (more)

08.25.2009Facilities/Buildings

PITTSBORO — Chatham County commissioners are “walking the walk” when it comes to supporting green construction at Central Carolina Community College’s Chatham County Campus.

The commissioners recently approved funding for a green roof for the Sustainable Technologies Building and a wastewater recycle system to serve that building and the Chatham Community Library, which is also going up at the campus. At their Aug. 17 meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved the expenditure of $227,239 for the roof, which will be covered with low-growing vegetation, and $652,920 for the water system.

“The commissioners felt that sustainable technologies are a critical part of CCCC-Chatham,” said George Lucier, board chairman. “The green roof and innovative wastewater system will help promote both learning and jobs in the area of sustainability, which is becoming increasingly important to the state and national economy.”

At its July 20 meeting, the board approved $8 million for construction of the Sustainable Technologies Building and the Library. The approximately $800,000 for the green roof and recycled water system is in addition to that. Both buildings are scheduled for completion by July 2010 by Barnhill Contracting Company, of Tarboro. 

The buildings are on track to achieve a LEED gold standard rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. The council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards rate building design and construction on a point system. Points are given on a wide variety of factors, such as use of natural resources (daylight, water, etc.), incorporation of renewable and recyclable materials, and indoor environmental quality.

The Sustainable Technologies Building will house the college’s sustainable programs: agriculture, biofuels, building, ecotourism and culinary arts. Addition of the green roof and the water recycling system will not only improve its function as classroom and lab space but also make it a demonstration laboratory for principles taught in the programs, according to Dr. Karen Allen, the college’s Chatham County provost. She said they will also enhance the college’s label of “Green Central,” so-called because of its excellence in green workforce training and environmentally responsible practices.

“It is exciting that the commissioners approved these alternatives,” Allen said. “It underscores their commitment and belief in the value of what we are doing at the college, their commitment to a green county, and to building a green workforce. We are hoping that, with all that is being done, the buildings will receive a LEED Platinum score, the highest there is.” 

Louis Cherry, of Cherry Huffman Architects, which designed the buildings, provided more information at the Aug. 17 meeting on the benefits and features of having the environmentally and user-friendly features on the Sustainable Technologies Building. 

In background material for the board, Cherry said that the green roof will last about twice as long as a conventional roof. It will also improve storm water management and air quality, and preserve habitat and biodiversity. Maintenance will be more initially than a conventional roof, but comparable to a conventional roof in the long term. Cherry said that having a green roof will contribute toward several LEED points for the building.

The Integrated Wastewater System, designed by Dr. Hal House, president of Integrated Water Strategies, will serve both the Sustainable Technologies Building and the Chatham Community Library. Treated rainwater and wastewater from both buildings will be used to flush toilets and urinals, supply cooling tower water, and irrigate landscape. The system contributes to LEED credits for water efficiency and innovation.

“We are delighted that the Chatham County Board of Commissioners understands the value of the added green features,” said Dr. Bud Marchant, CCCC president. “This facility will not only educate the growing green workforce in the county, but also be a demonstration of the commitment of the county to a sustainable environment for its residents.”