SRC goes for gold eco-friendly certification under LEED

The Student Recreation Center opened with numerous measures in place to ensure that the complex will be in compliance with the state’s environment friendly LEED standards.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the certification process that ensures and maximizes the building’s overall performance. LEED certifies green, ecological performing buildings and structures, according to their website.

Nathaniel Wilson, a CSUN architect, estimates the SRC’s green initiatives can protect the university annually from heaping energy costs.

“The financial and environmental long term benefits of LEED standards are limitless,” Wilson said.

Enforced by The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a third party signatory, LEED certified buildings are constructed to maximize water efficiency, safeguard energy, offer an organic environment for all occupants, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, decrease all wastage and increase the overall efficiency of a structure.

The USGBC endorses four different levels of LEED certification: standard, silver, gold and platinum. Currently, the SRC is in the process of pursuing a gold certification, according to the SRC’s most recent construction update.

The SRC is expected to achieve the Valley Performing Arts Center’s (VPAC) gold certification standing as well. The VPAC is CSUN’s first LEED-gold certified complex.

The construction team, campus architects and the USU collectively worked hand in hand to incorporate green standards and have engineered a complex that is 75 percent lit by solatubes and natural light. In addition, a ventilation system that moves air naturally through the building to reduce heating and cooling costs was put in place.

Furthermore, energy-saving lighting controls and photovoltaic solar panels, which are positioned on the roof, are expected to generate 86.4 kilowatts per hour, according to a previous construction update.

Jimmy Francis, SRC assistant director, explained that all of the SRC’s filtration systems are fitted with water saving faucets, fixtures and equipment.

“The filtration systems are designed to capture and re-use rainwater,” Francis said.

These measures all factor into the SRC’s attempt to obtain a gold certification.

“The quest to receive a gold LEED certification status is an ongoing pursuit,” Wilson said.  “As the SRC submits its LEED certification application there is no set time limit to overall process.  Maintaining an eco-friendly green structure is an ongoing process.”