FAIRHOPE, Ala. – Of the more than 20 two-year colleges in Alabama, the new Allied Health and Natural Science building at the Fairhope campus of Faulkner State Community College will be the first to receive certification for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, according to the green building consultant for the project.
“The building design is projected to reduce energy costs by 38 percent when compared to a building designed just to meet the (normal building) code,” said Rebecca Bryant, Watershed LLC’s green building consultant and LEED accredited professional. “The investment (of about a 1 percent increase in construction costs) should be paid back in less than five years, after which the school will enjoy an annual net savings of between $20,000 to $30,000.”
The $7.3 million, 45,000 square-foot, three-story building is seeking silver certification under the LEED program, according to Bryant, whose consulting company is an affiliate of Walcott Adams Verneuille Architects that designed the building.
The certification requires approval of approximately 35 points on the LEED scorecard relating to standards for the sustainability of the site, its water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process.
“Less stormwater will be leaving this site after the building was constructed than before,” said Bryant during a tour of the building earlier this week. “If every new project did this it would have a huge impact.”
When certified, the building will join Kohl’s department store in Spanish Fort and White-Spunner Construction in Mobile as the only two LEED certified buildings in South Alabama, according to the US Green Building Council, the LEED accrediting agency.
Baldwin County has several other buildings seeking LEED certification, including the new Baldwin County Association of Realtors building and Fairhope’s Windmill Market. In Mobile County, there are three more under construction on the University of South Alabama and Spring Hill College campuses, Bryant said. She also pointed to the installation of the largest solar array in the state at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s new building, as well as the new water treatment there that is seeking LEED certification, which would be the first for such a facility in Alabama.
“Considering there are currently only about 23 LEED certified buildings in the state of Alabama, this is really something for our region to be proud of,” she said. “People tend to think about green building in Alabama as being a Birmingham thing, or a Huntsville thing, but south Alabama has thrown its hat in the ring and raised the bar with these exceptional buildings.”
The new FSCC building, which will house the college’s nursing program and other classrooms, was dedicated Friday and named in honor of Dr. John Borom, the director of the Fairhope campus.
A number of public and school officials who spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony praised Borom’s leadership on environmental issues and commitment to development of the Fairhope campus, which resulted in the kind of green building that was constructed and dedicated last week.
Fairhope Mayor Tim Kant said that Borom told him many years ago that “we’ve got to have a green campus.”
For his part, Borom was overcome by emotion several times during the hour-long ceremony that was attended by more than 200 people on a hot August morning.
“I’m almost at a loss for words,” Borom said. “I want to be humble about this. (Something like) this is always a team effort. I know this building will have a lasting impact for this community. The future is bright and will continue to be bright so long as we continue working together. You know how progress is made. It’s made by working together for a common goal for the common good of society.”
Faulkner State Community College opens LEED building – Baldwin County NOW