Central Oregon Community College is helping set the standard for environmentally conscious buildings.
The brand new residence hall, which opened in September 2015, recently received a gold level of certification awarded by Earth advantage.
According to the Earth Advantage website, Earth Advantage is a non-profit organization that partners with state and local government agencies to focus on development of a clean energy industry.
Vice president Matt McCoy describes how this company has played a role in the residence hall.
“Earth Advantage is a separate third party certification, that said the residence hall has been built to the Gold Certification Model. They offer us a wider range of perspective,” said McCoy.
According to McCoy, the residence hall was built with the goal of meeting these standards.
“The residence hall was built with the goal of meeting these standards. Sustainable design is no longer an afterthought, this is how we approach construction. All of our buildings built within the past fifteen years has had the goal of environmentally effective building in mind. One of the first things that we do is look at trees and water management,” said McCoy.
According to the Earth Advantage Points Worksheet, There are three different levels that can be met when a building is inspected by Earth Advantage: Silver Certification, with a total of 70 points, Gold Certification, with a total of 90 points and Platinum Certification with a total of 120 points or more.
“To accomplish a gold certification level of green energy building, the residence hall was tested on a checklist of requirements the building had to withhold that demonstrate energy effectiveness,” said McCoy.
According to the Earth Advantage Points Worksheet, the checklist contains a point system, with main categories including: Energy, Health, Land, Material and Water. These all contain smaller subcategories, some examples include: land use, waste management, solar thermal and photovoltaic, and landscaping.
The residence hall had to pass multiple requirements that range from implementation of an erosion control site plan to incorporating appropriate energy modeling.
Wanda Humphrey | The Broadside