homepage home
subscribe to Southwest Contractor magazine subscribe
newsletters free e-newsletter
advertise
industry jobs industry jobs
Mcgraw Hill Construction
Southwest Contractor Logo
Order Your RISK FREE Subscription
comment

Green Speed

In just a few short years, UNM has gone from having no sustainable projects to adopting a stringent energy efficiency policy for the entire campus.

Text size: A A
[ Page 1 of 2 ]

Last month, the University of New Mexico received LEED gold for Castetter Hall Phase I on the Albuquerque campus.

Castetter Hall became the first LEED-certified building on the University of New Mexico’s Albuquerque campus. The LEED gold building will consume 31.5% less energy overall than traditional buildings on campus.
Photo courtesy of SMPC Architects
Castetter Hall became the first LEED-certified building on the University of New Mexico’s Albuquerque campus. The LEED gold building will consume 31.5% less energy overall than traditional buildings on campus.
----- Advertising -----

As the 110-year-old school’s first LEED-certified project, it was a satisfying moment for campus officials. Though other campuses have reached similar milestones, UNM has dramatically accelerated its green building program, with $220 million in active projects.

The school has 31 projects over $500,000 and 62 smaller projects, most in the construction phase, says William Turner, director of UNM’s office of capital projects.

The initial catalyst for greening the 600-acre campus was a pair of executive orders from Governor Bill Richardson stipulating that all new state buildings over 15,000 sq ft need to meet LEED silver at minimum and that all buildings must reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020.

As if that wasn’t enough, UNM formed a carbon neutral task force in June 2008 and has signed on to various initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. According to the university’s physical plant department, in just the first 10 months of following its new energy conservation initiative, the campus reduced energy usage by 13.4% and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 13,603 metric tons.

“All of these initiatives fit in with our values of what constitutes good design,” Turner says. “In today’s world, good design has to have a component of sustainability to it. Otherwise you didn’t really do good design.”

The $4.3-million Castetter Hall South Addition, Phase I adds 15,867 sq ft of space plus a greenhouse for the school’s biology department. An additional 22,000-sq-ft phase is planned.

The building will consume 31.5% less energy overall than traditional buildings on campus. “Considerable care was given to the south-facing addition to maximize the amount and quality of natural light, thereby reducing the need for artificial light,” says Dave Cook, AIA, principal with Albuquerque-based SMPC Architects. “In order to control the increased solar gain, high performance glazing and solar shades were incorporated to reduce air conditioning loads.”

Research laboratories will allow students and faculty to work on health-related problems affecting the world and New Mexico. Because labs are such high energy consumers in order to keep interior air clear of contaminants, Castetter’s mechanical systems filter and re-circulate already conditioned air as much as possible.

“The labs are modular, stacked vertically for flexibility and economy and have fully-integrated structural, mechanical and electrical systems,” Cook says. Low-flow laboratory flume hoods that automatically cut back the amount of exhaust air during inactive times were used.

Britton Construction, the project’s Albuquerque-based general contractor, sorted and recycled construction waste and used locally-sourced materials with recycled content wherever possible.

[ Page 1 of 2 ]
----- Advertising -----
Dodge Reports

Below is a brief listing of Projects Bidding in the South West. Click on any project to get Dodge Report, Plans and Specifications.

Click Here to See More Projects in the South West

Blog: From multiple ENR Southwest Bloggers
Our new blog delivers the latest project and people news, opinions and insights from the jobsite to the boardroom from the editors.
Reader Photos
Photos from Southwest Contractor Photo Showcase
Dodge Lead Center
Search for local construction projects OR CALL 877-234-4246 and get a FREE Lead Now!
Search by Project Type & State





----- Advertising -----
 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.