Erie, PA — March 15, 2012 — The new Bethel Park High School was certified as a Level 3 Green Globes building. Green Globes is a recognized sustainable design assessment tool that indicates “green building” design techniques. Green Globes rated/certified buildings are intended to:
- Use less energy
- Conserve natural resources
- Emit fewer pollutants in the form of greenhouse gases, airborne particulates, liquid effluents, and/or solid waste
According to the Green Building Institute (GBI) Level 3 certification is comparable to LEED Gold and “demonstrates leadership in energy and environmentally efficient buildings and a commitment to continual improvement”. The design principles incorporate the reduction of environmental impacts by applying best practices in energy and environmental efficiency of buildings.
Specific elements of the design that were crucial in achieving Level 3 certification at Bethel Park include:
Green Globes Project Features:
- Construction Waster Recycling – materials from the new building construction are being recycled and diverted from landfill. Current recycled content as of December 31, 2011 is 94.79%.
- Demolition Waste Recycling – materials from the existing buildings will be recycled and diverted from landfill. The brick and concrete from the existing buildings will be crushed on site and reused for construction of the new parking lot and athletic fields.
- Energy Efficient Mechanical Systems – the mechanical systems are an energy efficient design that incorporates the use of an ice storage system for building cooling.
- Building Energy Modeling – an energy model for the building was generated to identify performance.
- Mechanical Unit Filters – the filter rating for the mechanical units was increased to a MERV 13 (minimum efficiency rating value), which reduces dust and improves indoor air quality.
- Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures – the plumbing fixtures selected reduce the amount of water usage to conserve water consumption.
- Water Metering – the amount of water usage is metered and monitored.
- Energy Efficient Light Fixtures – the light fixtures used reduce energy consumption.
- Daylight Harvesting – monitors the amount of natural daylight and turns off light fixtures to reduce energy consumption and utilize natural daylight.
- Energy Metering – the amount of energy usage will be metered and monitored.
- Building System Commissioning – the building systems are being commissioned and tested for operation and controls.
Sustainable Design Features:
- Building Thermal Envelope – the exterior wall assembly and insulation used increases the thermal performance of the building envelope reducing overall energy costs.
- White Roof – the flat portions of the building roof are white which reflect direct sunlight and reduce heat buildup on the roof.
- Building Acoustics – the building design incorporates STC (sound transmission coefficient) rated walls and materials to improve the interior acoustics of the building.
- Natural Daylighting – the exterior windows and interior corridor clerestory windows design allows for maximum natural daylight to interior spaces of the building.
- Material Recycled Content – the specifications call for certain materials on the project to have amounts of recycled content such as flooring, drywall, acoustic ceiling tiles.
- Improved Indoor Air Quality – the mechanical system is designed to supply air low and return high to improve indoor air quality.
As a result of Level 3 Certification, the District is eligible through the PA Department of Education’s PlanCon Process for an additional reimbursement. The High Performance Green School provides an enhanced learning environment while minimizing operation costs borne by taxpayers.