Westmont Strikes LEED Gold

Four new buildings on campus earn gold certification for their sustainable construction and energy-saving systems.

The U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainable construction, has certified four new Westmont buildings as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold: Winter Hall for Science and Mathematics, Adams Center for the Visual Arts (right), the central plant and the observatory.

Randy Jones, director of campus planning, says the college is committed to sustainable construction and energy-savings methods. “The LEED Gold certifications show the community we’re serious about being good stewards of the environment,” he says.

Instead of installing mechanical systems, architect Ken Radtkey wanted to design a more natural approach. “Our points aren’t based on an exceptionally technical system,” Jones says. “All the buildings have many spaces with natural ventilation and lighting.”

The college also scored points for its innovative design and development of the site. “It’s a program that sets individual buildings into a larger campus system, incorporating native plants and water-efficient landscaping so that everything works together,” Jones says.

The analysis noted the restoration of habitats, capture of storm water and reduction of light pollution. Workers also recycled construction waste and other materials. The college chose carpets, paints and adhesives that are environmentally-friendly.

Plaques will be installed at the buildings calling attention to the awards. “Because we have four LEED buildings on campus, some design professionals are interested in using them as teaching tools and have asked to come and tour the campus,” Jones says.

Winter Hall is a three-level structure that encompasses 48,000 square feet of classrooms, offices and laboratories. The center of the structure is open so natural light can cascade down to all levels. Adams Center, which houses the Westmont Museum of Art, is a three-level structure nestled into the hillside just below the library. The 31,000-square-foot building extends from west to east, allowing the classrooms, studios and offices to be naturally lighted and ventilated. Both Winter and Adams feature landscaped roof decks.

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