John Tyler Community College Celebrates a Green Building First
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Released on July 19, 2010
CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – John Tyler Community College continues to be a leader in its commitment to the community and to the environment. The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the College LEED Silver Certification for its new Science Building, making it the first college in the Virginia Community College System to earn such recognition. To become certified under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system, a project must earn credits in key areas that promote human and environmental health, including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
“The College is, of course, quite proud to be the first in the community college system to achieve LEED certification for a new building,” says John Tyler Community College President Marshall W. Smith. “It is not only a tribute to the hard work of a number of College staff with facilities responsibilities, but also to the commitment of the entire institution to sustainability efforts overall. Our goal is for this recognition to be only the beginning of a continuing effort to undertake and meet challenging sustainability goals.”
The 60,000 square foot Science Building, located on John Tyler Community College’s Midlothian Campus, features numerous green features, including:
- A green roof, which uses plants to retain storm water and to promote more efficient heating and cooling
- Large windows throughout the building that allow natural lighting and connect those inside to nature
- Low VOC (volatile organic compound)-emitting building materials, including paint, primers, and adhesives that improve air quality
- Carpet, drywall, concrete and steel that contain a high amount of recycled content
- Highly efficient plumbing fixtures that reduce water consumption
- Landscaping that includes native plants, requiring minimal watering and maintenance
- Bike racks, showers and changing rooms for those wishing to use alternative transportation
- Dedicated parking spaces for those who drive fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles and for those who carpool
The building houses the Midlothian Campus’ Library, science labs, student activities center and bookstore, as well as computer labs, classroom space and faculty offices. It opened for classes in the fall of 2009 and has provided the College with much needed additional classroom space to accommodate soaring student enrollment.
The Science Building is just one of the many ways John Tyler Community College promotes sustainability. Two years ago, the College launched its Revive program – an initiative that encompasses green practices adopted by the College, as well as the College’s efforts to educate its students, faculty, staff and community about the steps they can take to help the environment. Examples of some of the green practices implemented by the College include a single-stream recycling program and a green housekeeping program; the application of solar-reflective roofing materials and the installation of HVAC equipment and lighting that promote energy efficiency in the College’s existing buildings; the use of recycled paper, and whenever possible, vegetable-based inks for the College’s print publications; and the reduction in the use of paper to communicate with students.
The College also created its Revive web site at www.jtcc.edu/revive to help teach the community about sustainability, stressing the fact that even small changes can make a big difference. The site includes a video about going green, information on simple steps individuals and their families can take to become more environmentally friendly, and highlights of John Tyler Community College’s sustainability efforts.
Also on the Revive site, people can learn more about the College’s Science Building by taking a virtual tour, looking at photographs and reading about the LEED green building certification program. Those who would rather see the building in person are invited to take a guided or a self-guided tour. Those interested in participating in a guided tour of the building should contact Leigh LaClair at LEEDtours@jtcc.edu. Those who wish to explore on their own may stop by the Library, on the second floor of the Science Building, to pick up a pocket guide, which may be used in conjunction with the informational signs displayed throughout the building.
John Tyler Community College is a two-year, public institution of higher education and is the fifth largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia. With campuses in Chester and Midlothian and off-campus classrooms throughout the area, John Tyler offers quality and economical opportunities for students who want to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college or university, train for the workforce, or switch careers. The College, which served more than 13,690 students during the 2009 – 10 academic year, offers 17 associate degrees, seven certificates and 35 career studies certificates. The institution also serves 20,000 non-credit students and more than 1,000 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance. The College also is committed to sustainability. In July 2010, it received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for its Midlothian Campus Science Building, becoming the first in the Virginia Community College System to receive such recognition. John Tyler Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager