High albedo (very reflective) roof coatings reduce energy use. To maximize cooling energy savings, these materials have solar reflectivity, high infrared emissivity and maintain these properties for many years.
Twenty percent of the total value of the materials used for the Student Center's construction is comprised of regional materials and has recycled content: sourced, manufactured and delivered within a 500-mile radius of the project site. Concrete, wood and gypsum comprise most of these materials.
More than 95 percent, or approximately 380 tons, of construction waste was diverted from the landfill for recycling or salvaging.
The recycled content is a combination of post- and pre-consumer recycled materials. Regional materials include concrete, metals and gypsum wallboard. The Student Center's wall and ceiling finishes, concrete and metal all contain recycled materials.
Improved energy efficiency saves electricity, carbon, production demand and money. Lighting controls and occupancy sensors are utilized to reduce unoccupied usage. Sunshades and overhangs shade many south- and west-facing windows to reduce direct sunlight and solar heat gain. Windows facing north minimize direct sun exposure while providing daylight, and skylights are located in the three-story atrium to make use of natural light to reduce lighting demands. Also, efficient building reduces energy use of conditioning systems.
The restroom facilities have low-flow faucets and toilets that help the building achieve an overall LEED water reduction of 42 percent. Installing water-efficient plumbing fixtures helps reduce usage of potable water, a precious resource.
GGC Dining Services is joining campuses all across the country in its trayless dining initiative. By opting out of using trays on a daily basis, the campus eliminates the need for tray washing, which saves roughly 200 gallons of water per 1,000 meals served. Reports also indicate that trayless dining reduces food waste by up to 50 percent.
Green Cleaning and Recycling
GGC has a sustainable policy of using green housekeeping products in the entire building, including in the common areas, restrooms, kitchen and the administrative and student offices.
Materials such as paper, plastic, glass, metal and cardboard are collected from recycling bins throughout the building and streamed through GGC's recycling service.