Westfield State University’s ‘green’ Science and Innovation Center set to open in fall

Apr 27, 2016

Westfield State University’s ‘green’ Science and Innovation Center set to open in fall

Westfield State University’s Science and Innovation Center is slated to open in the fall of 2016. The 54,000 square foot building will house new laboratory space for the Westfield State University Departments of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Biology, Environmental Science, Nursing and Allied Health, and the university’s new Physician Assistant program.

The Center was constructed while being mindful of its energy usage. A number of measures were put into place to conserve energy and reduce the Center’s, and the university’s, carbon footprint.

LEED Silver Rating

The Center is being constructed as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rated building. In order to meet national criteria, all building systems going into the Center, including all furniture and equipment, had to meet LEED standards for energy conservation and sustainability.  In addition, energy efficient LED lighting is being used throughout the interior of the building including any exterior site lighting.

Energy Efficient Designs

Energy efficient glass is being used throughout the Center to allow for natural sunlight in the building while mitigating energy loss.

Part of the Center’s glass wall will be equipped with a radio controlled shade system. This system will have different programmed settings that will be monitored on the roof by sensors to react to the amount of sunlight coming into the building by lowering and raising shades. This will cut down on solar glare and heating.

Heating and Cooling

Rather than having building specific boilers in the Center to provide heat, the building was designed to run off the campus central power plant which runs primarily on cleaner natural gas versus oil.

The temperature control systems have been designed for energy efficiency and monitoring by university Trades staff.

When normal electric power goes off, the emergency generator for the building is programmed to come on when needed based upon the electrical requirements necessary to power the building

Encouraging Green Transportation

The university is working with the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) to install a vehicle electric charging station adjacent to the building in the Commuter Parking Lot.

As part of the construction project, several parking spaces adjacent to the building in the Commuter Lot will be designated for energy efficient vehicles.
Recycling Efforts

Construction debris from the project has been monitored and recycled whenever possible. All liquid waste produced from the Center’s laboratories will run through an acid neutralization system prior to reaching city sewers.