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Tahoe-Truckee Campus building receives LEED Gold certification

Rocklin, Calif.- ย–The first permanent building on the Sierra Community College Tahoe-Truckee Campus has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The 28,500 square foot facility, designed by Lionakis Architects and built by contractor Rudolph and Sletten, is the first LEED Gold certified community college building in the state of California. The new facility has the capacity to serve up to 1000 students.

‘Truckee is a community whose culture is at the forefront of sustainability and environmental consciousness”, said Laura Doty, Sierra College Director of Facilities and Construction. “Sierra College was therefore committed to developing our Tahoe Truckee Campus to reflect this culture, and initially established the goal of LEED Silver for our campus buildings.  But our highly collaborative project implementation process allowed for collective thinking thoughout the design phase, resulting in a facility that exceeded our expectations.”

The LEED certification system provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across a range of areas including: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources.

Key sustainable features of the facility include:

  • 40% less water use due to efficient interior fixtures and dual-flush controls.
  • No refrigerants used. A combination of evaporative cooling and outside air (called economizing) was incorporated, which reduces air conditioning energy use by 70%.
  • Smart classroom controls regulate temperature and lighting according to the amount of daylight and number of students.
  • Demand-controlled ventilation (fresh air control) reduces energy use by up to 50% when the building is vacant.
  • Piping and ductwork have 50-100% thicker insulation than industry average, providing more efficient heating and cooling.
  • Components in place for future solar-thermal heating systems.
  • Better indoor air with humidifiers using electromagnetic water treatment instead of chemicals.
  • All large fans and pumps have variable speed motors for reduced energy consumption.

The new facility is a two-story structural steel building with asphalt composite roofing, with a fiber cement siding and natural stone exterior. It incorporates lecture classrooms, science and chemistry labs, 2-D and 3-D art classrooms, a ‘Mechatronics’ laboratory, a library, a student eating/gathering area, and administrative offices.

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