Designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, the West Center was constructed with and operates using leading-edge environmentally conscious features.
The following sustainable design strategies have been incorporated into the West Center:
The new facility includes bike racks, showers and changing rooms to encourage walking or cycling to class. The rear parking lot provides designated carpool/vanpool parking spaces. A proposed trolley system will offer public transportation stops connecting the University with downtown Rock Hill and Charlotte, North Carolina. Also, by maximizing landscaping and specifying highly reflective "Energy Star" compliant roofing reduces the effects of the heat island effect.
At least 50% of building materials contain high-recycled content and at minimum, 20% of building materials were manufactured locally or regionally to promote the growth of local economy and to reduce transportation costs. Also, 75% of the construction waste was diverted from the land fill. Separate waste receptacles were used during construction to separate glass, wood, concrete, cardboard and metals. Post-construction recycling efforts include designated areas on every floor for collecting paper, glass, cardboard and aluminum.
The integration of day lighting into the building helped reduce light density from 1.7 w/ft2 to 0.9 w/ft2. Reducing the use of artificial light during daylight hours greatly reduced the need for air conditioning which in turn reduced the size of the mechanical system. Combination daylight and occupancy sensors in the offices and classrooms help to further reduce the use of artificial light. Because the classrooms are located in the interior of the building each classroom is day lit through roof top dormers and provides a uniformly day lit space. In order to create an even distribution of daylight, bilateral skylights were designed at the east and west ends of the classrooms. These energy and atmosphere strategies are anticipated to exhibit an improved performance of 52% and total an annual regulated energy cost savings of nearly $124,000.
Various design strategies for the interior space prevents any air quality problems which can negatively affect the occupants. These strategies include prohibiting smoking in the building or near any entry door, providing carbon dioxide monitors that provide demand-controlled ventilation, specifying low-emitting materials, adhesives and sealants, low VOC carpets and composite woods, and formaldehyde free materials.
196,000 gallons of water are saved annually via the use of pool water reclaim and reuse strategy. The ultraviolet ramine destruct and disinfection system improves indoor air quality the natatorium by guaranteeing code required 0.02 ppm indoor chloramines, reducing long-term corrosion effects related to building and systems, drastically reducing bacteria grown in pool water and disease prevention. Also, use of low-flow plumbing fixtures; shower heads, waterless urinals, sensor operated (hands-free) faucets and flash valves equates to a 35% reduction in water use thus saving over 400,000 gallons of water annually.