Sometimes the best lesson in environmental responsibility on campus is the academic building around you.
For Colby College, its commitment to sustainable design and practice was affirmed when the Davis Science Center received LEED Gold Certification this fall from the US Green Building Council.
The Center is Shepley Bulfinch’s eighth project to be LEED Gold Certified.
The design responds to the Georgian architecture of Colby’s existing campus while incorporating best practices in sustainable design, including local sourcing of materials. The dominant exterior material is water struck ‘Colby Blend’ brick, manufactured by the same nearby brickyard that has provided every brick on the Colby campus since its founding in 1813.
The Center’s most prominent efficiency measure isn’t readily apparent: 30 500-foot closed-loop geothermal wells provide 100 percent of the heating and cooling energy for the building. Additionally, special fixtures and fittings minimize water use by 53 percent, and low-emitting materials contribute to a safe and healthy indoor environment.
“Each project we’ve done since 2005 has been LEED Certified,” said Colby Associate Director of Physical Plant and project manager Gordon Cheesman.
The $17.8 million, 36,400-square-foot building includes a robotics laboratory, a behavioral neuroscience research suite, and shared classrooms and computer laboratories. It is Colby’s twelfth building to earn LEED certification. Fifteen percent of Colby’s square footage now LEED-certified space.
The Center takes forward the implementation of Colby’s campus master plan, which Shepley Bulfinch completed in 2001 and updated in 2011. The firm also designed the F.W. Olin Science Center (1996).
In addition to the Davis Science Center, Shepley Bulfinch has designed LEED Gold Certified projects for a range of institutional clients, including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins, the University of Denver, and the University of New Mexico. The firm has been a member of the US Green Building Council since 2001 and is working toward Net Zero Energy buildings as a signatory to AIA 2030.