Tour: Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences | U.S. Green Building Council
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Tour

Tour: Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences

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Tour the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, and learn more about Nevada's first LEED Platinum building that was certified in 2007.

Tour guides:

  • Chuck Levitan | Professor, Science & Technology, Sierra Nevada College
  • Bob Preger | Board of Trustee, Sierra Nevada College

Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences at Sierra Nevada College

The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences (TCES) is a distinctive partnership between institutions of higher education in two states, including Sierra Nevada College (SNC), University of California, Davis, Desert Research Institute and University of Nevada, Reno.

The TCES is a world-class center for scientific research in the understanding of alpine lakes and the preservation of the environmental quality of such important resources. As the first LEED Platinum building in Nevada and the first LEED Platinum laboratory in the country, TCES is also an award-winning showcase of high-performance, green buildings.

Sierra Nevada College worked closely with Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Building Performance and other partners in the design of TCES.

Energy. The building uses 60 percent less energy than a building of the same function, climate, and size designed to code at the time. Photovoltaic roof panels provide 10 percent of the building's annual energy demand.

Water. Potable water use was reduced 65 percent through the use of drought-tolerant native plants, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, and treated rainwater for toilets. Sustainable site features include low-glare lighting, retention basins to slow down and treat storm water runoff, and reduced areas of site disturbance during construction.

Materials & lighting, Recycled content and locally sourced materials are featured throughout. Over 85 percent of the construction waste was recycled. Special effort was made to increase occupant comfort by using materials with low or no emissions, providing a high level of individual control over lighting and cooling levels, and giving access to daylight and views.