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Queens University of Charlotte's new $18 million Rogers Science and Health Building was among the first few facilities in North Carolina to pursue Platinum LEED certification when it opened in late fall 2012.
The James E. and Mary Anne Rogers Science and Health Building is home to Queens' biology, chemistry, mathematics, and environmental science programs, and the administrative offices of Blair College of Health.
"This building and its innovative features helps us enhance learning experiences for our students in the sciences and health professions, and make Queens an even more competitive choice for prospective students," said Queens President Pamela Davies. "Queens has long had an excellent science faculty in a diverse spectrum of fields, as well as creative and inquisitive students with a strong desire to learn."
The Rogers Building's "green" features include a rooftop greenhouse and herbarium, and a 30-foot by 40-foot "green wall" of plants native to North Carolina that run along part of the exterior.
The 56,500 square foot building itself has become part of the learning experience for students and the public. In the lobby, an energy dashboard displays the building's consumption of electricity, natural gas and water.
Other design features that may qualify the building for Platinum LEED certification include:
- Storm drainage system designed to filter and detail storm water runoff.
- Exterior lighting that will not exceed light pollution guidelines.
- Rainwater will be captured from the roof into an underground cistern and will be distributed with high efficiency irrigation technology for a 100 percent reduction over conventional means.
- Optimized energy performance through the building envelope and HVAC systems which will reduce energy costs by at least 60 percent.
- Renewable energy created by a parking lot canopy system with photovoltaic solar panels.
- At least 75 percent of construction materials, demolition waste and land clearing debris will be recycled.
- Salvaged or refurbished materials will be used in 10 percent of the building.
- At least half of the building materials will be manufactured within 500 miles of our campus.
- The building is designed to maximize daylighting and view opportunities.
During the entire design and planning process Queens considered the potential effects to the environment.
Many of the largest trees on the site were saved, including nine large circumference oaks and hickories. Four dogwood trees were replanted elsewhere on campus. The nine trees that were removed during the construction process were recycled, with their wood used as flooring in the new building and for mulch. Queens also planted new trees along Selwyn Avenue to offset their loss.
"We also hired an arborist to oversee tree protection throughout the entire project," said Bill Nichols, vice president for Campus Planning and Services at Queens. "All of the trees close to the construction site were fenced in to protect not only the trees themselves, but also the root systems.