The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) recently awarded the Culinary Arts Center at Burlington County College a Silver Certification Level, making it the first LEEDcertified higher education building that incorporates a historic building in New Jersey.
“This is a major step forward in moving the College toward a more sustainable campus,” said BCC President David C. Hespe.
The construction project consisted of the restoration and adaptive reuse of a historic building, the demolition of two adjacent non-historic buildings, and the construction of a new two-story structure that connects the historic building to the existing BCC Mount Holly Center. The modern finishes were stripped down to the structural elements and the spaces were restored to a historically appropriate appearance.
“This is a home run for the College,” said Don Hudson, BCC executive director of facilities and construction. “LEED certification was our intent and goal from the very beginning. It is very rewarding to have been awarded the Silver Level.”
BCC contracted with Spiezel Architectural Group, Inc., to incorporate LEED specifications into the designs. With their guidance, BCC set sustainability goals and selected appropriate products such as water-saving plumbing fixtures, recycled and regionally-produced finish materials and low-emitting finishes such as carpet and paint. Sustainable building systems included a “cool” reflective-coated roof, increased ventilation, and green power in the form of photovoltaic (solar) panels. The site was also designed with water-efficient landscaping and minimal parking capacity to encourage carpooling and public transportation.
The USGBC’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification system is the recognized standard for measuring whole-building sustainability. Only 11 LEED certified projects in New Jersey are higher education facilities.
The LEED program recognizes performance in six key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. The number of points a building earns determines its rating — Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum, the highest rating.
The Culinary Arts Center in downtown Mount Holly is located at the site of the former Farmers Trust Building, which was built in 1814 in the Federal Style, and is listed on both the State of New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. The project was also subject to review by the State of New Jersey Historic Preservation Office and locally by the Mount Holly Historic Preservation Commission.