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Environmental Corner: Green Building Seminar at NHADA and Automotive Tech School at MCC in Manchester

Posted: November 01, 2008
by Dan Bennett

There has been a great deal of buzz lately about green buildings (see Dateline: NH June 2008).

Green buildings are ones that are built or remodeled with sustainability and efficiency in mind and built to high-performance standards. In 2000, the U.S. Green Building Council developed a standard known as LEED®, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is the most popular and well recognized.

LEED®-rated buildings come in four varieties, depending how energy efficient and environmentally friendly they are. A building may be LEED® Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.

It is of utmost importance to keep in mind that the items and components that go into a LEED® rating and certifications are ones that we should all strive to incorporate into our buildings, whether it is a remodel or new construction, and whether you are going for certification or not. They are common sense practices and equipment that offer greater building efficiency, longer equipment life, greater facility value, improved employee productivity and satisfaction, as well as cheaper operating costs.

Here is a challenge: There are currently no known LEED®-rated auto dealerships in New Hampshire. Being the first would truly be a great and well-respected honor!

We will be hosting a Green/High Performance LEED® Building seminar here at NHADA on December 18, 2008. Staff of Jewett Construction, an NHADA Program Partner, and Lavallee Brensinger architects will be joining me for the presentation.

We are very fortunate to have these presenters on what will be an informative and valuable seminar, part of our Sustainability Initiative Seminar Series. It will certainly be one that you will not want to miss. Registration can be placed on-line at www.nhada.com, under Events Calendar, or by contacting Dan Bennett or Jean Conlon at NHADA at 800-852-3372 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NHADA is proud to announce a project of two of our presenters. The project will be highlighted and used as a case study at the December 18 seminar.

NHADA Program Partner Jewett Construction and the architectural firm of Lavallee Brensinger are collaborating on building the new Automotive Science and Technology Center at Manchester Community College, which is designed to be the city’s first LEED® Certified Building and the first for the Community College System of New Hampshire. In fact, the facility will be the first LEED® Certified automotive training facility in the country.

Designed to achieve a LEED® Certified rating as guided by the U.S. Green Building Council, the Center will incorporate a variety of strategies to increase energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Some of these strategies include a rainwater collection for flushing toilets and urinals to reduce potable water demand, a daylight harvesting system using 48 tubular skylights designed to turn off electric lighting thus saving electricity, in-slab radiant heating for better thermal comfort, high-efficiency boilers and heat recovery units, as well as solar panels to heat water.

Beyond the design features of the building, sustainable technologies will also be implemented during the construction process, which begins this month. Jewett Construction will target a minimum of 90 percent recycling of on-site construction waste and will implement an indoor air quality management plan to ensure a healthy environment for contractors working in the building and those who will occupy the building. For areas outside the facility, a pollution prevention plan will address minimizing overall construction impact on the site.

“We are happy to have the opportunity to work with the owners and architects to prove that you can build a project that is sustainable and LEED® Certified – within a previously established budget,” said Randy Overbey, LEED® Accredited Professional and Project Manager for Jewett Construction.

The Automotive Science and Technology Center employs several new systems and strategies. As with the other LEED® Certified projects, the Automotive Science and Technology program will be making changes to raise awareness for students and building occupants. All cleaning agents used by students will be water-based and biodegradable; and there will be a designated area for recycling items, such as metal, aluminum, paper, and glass. This ongoing education and awareness is an important element in the sustainable design movement as new materials are utilized and lifestyle changes are required.

The facility will consist of four drive-in laboratories, each with a capacity of twelve vehicles, several drive-in classrooms, and component laboratories that will allow students to focus on specific systems of a vehicle, such as transmissions, engine management systems, or electronic systems. A central, automated storage area for lab components and secure storage areas provide space for students’ tools. Another key feature for the program will be a new dynamometer lab that enables students to evaluate vehicle performance for learning diagnostic skills.

“The Center will be a showplace that is environmentally conscious, learning friendly, and cutting edge for automobile technicians. The proposed 70,000 square foot building, to be constructed in two phases, offers opportunity to explore advanced technologies and alternative fuels,” describes Marc Bellerose, Manchester Community College Automotive Technology Department Chair. “Our developing program will integrate areas that raise awareness for students and the industry. Sound, environmentally friendly practices and a green facility will be a fundamental part of the future of our programs.”

For more information, please check out: www.usgbc.org, www.jewettconstruction.com, the Green Initiative section of www.nhada.com, or as always, you can contact me at 800-852-3372 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I look forward to seeing you at our seminar on December 18.

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