As the Facilities Management Department, we are proponents for energy efficient design and green buildings. We are encouraged in the changing design trends, evolving technologies and environmental issues such as resource availability, transportation, density and air quality, etc. We are challenged to find architectural solutions that become interactive work and study settings while being on the leading edge of the sustainability issue. As an educational entity, we take seriously our role as stewards of the environment. In addition, the Cedar Valley Campus is presently planning to form an educational program through the creation of the Energy Efficient Green Building Institute.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) provides standards that support construction through integrated, whole-building design practices throughout the industry (striking a balance between established practices and emerging technologies). Categories addressed in LEED include sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.
Buildings have a significant impact on the environment, accounting for one-sixth of the world’s freshwater withdrawals, one-fourth of its wood harvest and two-fifths of its material and energy, leaving a large negative impact on the environment and health. The resources required to create, operate and replenish this level of infrastructure are enormous and are diminishing. This is not possible without radical change in the design, construction, operation and location of buildings that seek to mimic the way nature operates; running on renewable energy, using materials in a complete cyclical fashion, eliminating the concept of waste, using renewable nontoxic materials, and fitting in with natural systems.
Studies have demonstrated life cycle operation cost savings as well as gains in employee productivity and higher student test performances. As an entity that is supported by taxpayers, we feel that integrating green design, smart design and universal design is paramount as we plan the future infrastructure of our campuses while considering the health, diversity and safety of the workforce and student body that will continue to inhabit them.