Tri-C’s Western Campus STEM Center Earns LEED Gold Certification
New building is second at Parma site honored by U.S. Green Building Council
More than 4,500 plants grow on “living walls” inside the Western Campus STEM Center at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®), establishing roots for yet another honor from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The STEM Center recently received LEED® Gold certification from the organization. This is Tri-C’s eighth building with a LEED designation, a nationally recognized benchmark for green design, construction and operation.
“This building features green building aspects we’ve never used before, such as living walls and solar panels,” said David November, the College’s sustainability manager. “It reflects the continued evolution of College efforts to be at the forefront of the sustainability movement.”
The STEM Center opened on the Parma campus in fall 2019. The new building added more than 60,000 square feet of academic space, with classrooms and labs designed to expand educational experiences for students entering science-focused fields.
Living walls serve as the green centerpiece of the STEM Center. The plant-filled panels stretch up to 22 feet high in the atrium, creating a healthy, natural and peaceful environment for students and staff.
Skylights above the living walls bring natural light streaming into the interior. Solar panels built into the skylights are expected to generate 5% of the building’s electricity needs.
Other sustainability features of the new building include:
- A near 40% reduction in typical energy use due to building design, efficient heating and cooling systems, LED lighting and the solar panels, bringing an estimated annual savings of more than $50,000
- Plumbing fixtures designed to save nearly 79,000 gallons of water per year
- An emphasis on using regional and recycled materials during construction
The College also diverted 81% of construction waste from landfills through sorting and recycling during the project. Tri-C collaborated with Weber Murphy Fox and Ellenzweig architects on the building. Construction was overseen by The Albert M. Higley Co.
The STEM Center joins a growing list of Tri-C sites awarded LEED certification. The administrative center at Simulated Scenario Village at Western Campus earned certification in January.
March 11, 2021
John Horton, 216-987-4281 email@example.com