Alumni Field House achieves LEED Gold certification
Elon University’s Alumni Field House has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which awards the internationally recognized benchmark for design, construction and operation of high-performance, environmentally friendly buildings.
The 30,000 square-foot building is located to the north of Rhodes Stadium and provides an athletic training facility, meeting area and study space for Elon athletes. The facility includes offices for the athletics director, coaches and other staff, and it boasts a number of sustainable features that contribute to its LEED Gold certification.
Alumni Field House is 37 percent more energy efficient than a similar building that would just meet energy code requirements. The facility has added layers of insulation to improve its thermal envelope. Windows use high-efficiency glazing that acts as a passive solar mechanism to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Roofing material is highly reflective, which reduces the amount of heat absorbed from the sun, and the building features an energy efficient mechanical system with an energy recovery ventilation wheel. High efficiency lighting is used throughout the building, and occupancy sensors turn off lights when rooms are not in use.
The building’s low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce potable water consumption by 40 percent. Fixtures include dual-flush toilets, giving users the choice to use the appropriate amount of water with an upward or downward flush. Also installed were pint flush urinals, low-flow lavatory faucets and low-flow showerheads. Outside of the building, climate adaptive vegetation and a drip irrigation system reduce water use. In addition, the water that is used for irrigation is not potable water; it comes from the campus-wide storm water irrigation system.
During the construction of Alumni Field House, 90 percent of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill for recycling or reuse. Structural steel, drywall and ceiling tiles featured recycled content, and more than 40 percent of the building materials (based on value) in Alumni Field House were regionally sourced, which lowered transportation costs and emissions while supporting the regional economy.
Alumni Field House features bike racks, changing rooms and showers to encourage staff and athletes to bike to the facility. The parking lot includes spaces designated for low-emitting fuel-efficient vehicles. Around the building, areas of impervious surfaces were minimized to reduce storm water runoff. To decrease mobility of heavy metals, chemicals and other pollutants undesirable in storm water, bioretention stations were installed at high infiltration areas that treat 90 percent of annual rainfall.
Providing excellent indoor environmental quality was another essential component for Alumni Field House. Care was taken during construction to ensure the building and its systems were kept clean and free of contaminants. The adhesives, sealants, paints and carpets used in the building contain low or no amounts of volatile organic compounds. Low and no VOC products allow for better air quality during and after construction. Green cleaning products are also used throughout the facility.
In addition, the building is equipped with carbon dioxide sensors to monitor levels and maintain appropriate ventilation.
An interactive touch screen in the building lobby will contain information for visitors and building users. One feature of the touch screen will be access to the building’s electricity usage through the campus-wide electricity monitoring system, which displays real-time electricity consumption information for more than 50 campus buildings. For the Alumni Field House, users will be able to view and compare total electricity use vs. lighting use, plug use and HVAC use.
The Alumni Field House is the second LEED certified building on Elon’s campus. Martha S. and Carl H. Lindner III Hall received LEED Gold certification in the fall of 2009.