Green Design Award for New Building at Bunker Hill Community College
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The 48,000-square-foot Health & Wellness Center under construction at Bunker Hill Community College is a 2008 winner of the Green Design Concept Award from the Education Design Showcase, Mary L. Fifield, president of BHCC, announced today. The awards go to buildings under construction that will meet or exceed high standards of sustainability. DiNisco Design Partnership, Ltd. of Boston is the architect for the project.
The building will house state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories supporting students majoring in nurse education and health professions. The new structure, at an estimated cost of $22.7 million, will also provide additional faculty and administrative offices, a gymnasium and a fitness center.
Fifield and BHCC are charter signatories of the Presidents Climate Commitment, a coalition of more than 500 college and university presidents united to stop global warning. The Health & Wellness Center meets the new “Massachusetts LEED Plus” standards for green buildings as an anticipated LEED Silver-certified building. (LEED, which stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” refers to the Green Building Rating System sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council). The Health & Wellness Center will exceed Massachusetts’ energy code requirements by at least 20 percent.
In announcing the award, Deb Moore, editor of College Planning & Management Magazine¸ which featured the new Center in the November 2008 “Green Education Showcase” edition, said, “Good designs don’t just happen. They are based on research. The Health & Wellness Center project highlights innovative solutions that are helping Bunker Hill Community College get to green.”
From large south-facing windows that will capture natural light and solar energy to a white roof that reflects rather than absorbs heat, DiNisco has ensured that every aspect of the design minimizes energy consumption throughout the four seasons. Inside, a system of windows will convey daylight through the building. Fly ash and slag from industrial furnaces will reduce the need for cement in the walls. Recycled rubber and plastic will go into restroom partitions. The framework of the building will include recycled steel.
Even the rain has been considered. Water that falls on the building and roadways will not run off into the community’s storm drains carrying salt and oil from the College’s access road through the city’s system and into Boston Harbor. Instead, the rain will be channeled into two bio-retention ponds where it will pass over the roots of native wetland plants and sink through layers of gravel to help restore underground streams. The storm-water component of the plan represents the new “whole system” approach of good environmental design.
About Bunker Hill Community College
Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 18,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, and a number of other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 600 international students who come from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.