Rec Center lauded for efficiency
By Leah Seupersad
The Student Recreation Center at GSU received three Green Globes from the Green Building Initiative for its efforts to use less energy, conserve natural resources and emit fewer pollutants into the air.
Green Globes is a building assessment program that offers ways to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial buildings.
Scott Levin, director of recreational services at GSU, says that the four-story, 161,000-square-foot building is the first existing student recreation center in the country to be Green Globes certified.
"We are also the first Green Globes-certified facility in higher education in the state of Georgia, and one of only five certified facilities in the entire state," Levin said.
GSU's Student Recreation Center houses office and administration spaces, meeting rooms, weight rooms, training rooms, a gymnasium, a fitness center, a pool and support areas.
Some of the systems that the SRC has in place to ensure a healthy environment include the use of high efficiency air filters and environmentally preferred cleaning products, meeting guidelines for lighting levels, and monitoring air exhaust streams and CO2 levels, Levin said.
Michael O'Brien, a senior engineer at Energy Ace and a Green Globes assessor, pointed out that the the Rec Center and GSU as a whole have initiated several programs to drive down the use of energy, water and other resources.
"[The Student Recreation Center] was able to qualify for the Green Globes certification without really having to make any modifications to the building," he said.
GSU went through months of self-assessment before O'Brien conducted an energy audit of the 10-year-old facility, followed by a feasibility study comparing green building certification options.
"The two areas where we received the highest marks were indoor environment and emissions and pollution controls," Levin said. "This means we demonstrate leadership in design and delivery of energy and environmentally sensitive buildings and a commitment to continual improvement."
The three Green Globes distinction was also based on the SRC's use of high efficiency boilers, monitoring building refrigerants, the type of building fire system, and the method of storm water runoff.