Van H. Gilbert Architect PC, the Albuquerque-based design firm recognized for its leadership in sustainable design, announced the Science and Math Learning Center on the University of New Mexico Campus achieved Gold certification from the US Green Building Council. The LEED for Schools rating system is unique among other LEED programs as it addresses core learning areas and requires higher performance standards for air quality, acoustics, daylighting, and thermal comfort.
Under the LEED for Schools rating system, VHGA and design partner Shepley Bulfinch implemented a wide range of sustainable design strategies and techniques that focus on enhancing the learning environment.
The Science and Math Learning Center anticipates a 24% reduction in energy use as compared to a similar building, at an annual savings of $65,000. The building’s exterior detailing responds to the strong New Mexico sun with deeply set windows on the south and north facades and sophisticated sun screening on the south. Sustainable features include the use of daylight to flood all classrooms; artificial light sensors; light shelves that bring light deep into building spaces; controlled light entering the science labs; and natural daylight to all offices on the north side of the building. The construction methods of general contractor McCarthy NM were important contributions to achieving gold certification. BD+C