Gateway Community College Receives Public Award of Merit

Friday, June 21, 2013

Gateway Community College was honored with an Award of Merit in the Public Awards Category by the CT Green Building Council at the 2013 Annual Green Building Awards on June 20, 2013 as an excellent example of a state-of-the-art sustainable educational environment.

The new building, which spans two city blocks in downtown New Haven, is a showcase of sustainable features that proudly achieved LEED NCv2.2 Gold certification. The facility addresses urban sustainability challenges utilizing a roof garden and a ground-floor rain garden to offset the heat island effect and reduce water usage in irrigation by 50 percent, is situated on a remediated brownfield site and provides access to mass transit as well as to cycling commuters.

High-performance building systems offset at least 3% of the campuses total energy demand and in addition meet the targets outlined in the Architecture 2030 Challenge, one of the first community colleges in the nation designed to do so. Almost 20 percent of the total materials used to build GCC contain recycled material or came from building products within 500 miles. The project’s concrete, which accounts for an estimated 11 percent of the total material cost come from a plant in Ravena NY and a quarry from Meriden CT, which were then delivered to the Suzio York Hill concrete company in New Haven, a short distance to the construction site.

Wood products certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), products with very low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and recycled construction waste and occupant single stream recycling maintain a high sustainability standard contributing to LEED Gold certification. Optimized day lighting of the atrium and sophisticated light-control systems provide at least 90 percent of its occupants with individual controllability.

The project features a substantive green education signage system which provides students visitors and faculty with additional information on the sustainable features of the project. By doing so, the building itself becomes an instrument for learning – Gateway Community College has begun to offer classes in renewable energy technology installation and maintenance, and the systems on the building incorporated into a practice based learning curriculum.

The team for the project included: Perkins+Will New York, (architect), BHV Integrated Services (MEP engineer), Thornton Tomasetti (structural engineer), Towers Golde (landscape design), and Relab (photovoltaic consultant).
Gateway Community College is an excellent example of a state-of-the-art educational environment contributing to significant urban revitalization. It is the largest one-time funded state project in Connecticut history. The new facility both transforms a neglected part of the city and creates a new campus environment that is truly sustainable in environmental, social, and economic terms.