LEED BD+C: New Construction v2.2
IAIA Science and Technology Center
Santa Fe, NM 87508
LEED Gold 2011
Goals and motivations
What were the project's sustainability goals?
The overarching goal for this project was to deliver a LEED Gold facility, in line with the Institute's Sustainable Futures Design Initiative of 2003. It was also our team's goal to deliver this facility, along with others on the campus, in this spirit by working with the IAIA staff and building contractors to capture the essence of respect for the environment, which is a basic tenet of Native American culture. The commitment by IAIA to develop its campus infrastructure and facilities based upon core sustainable mandates was crucial to achieving this goal.
The team collectively looked at how we could maximize LEED principals within the projects with creative cost savings ideas. When the project was priced, it came in over budget and during the value-engineering phase, we made sure that we did not compromise any LEED points while evaluating systems or materials.
What were the most notable strategies used to earn LEED credits?
For the IAIA Science and Technology building and the Sculpture and Foundry Building, notable strategies for achieving LEED credits and for implementing a smooth certification process included team member education, clear and concise sustainability specifications, and a split design and construction review. First, team member education was a large focus at the onset to ensure that the owner, design team, and invested stakeholders understood and agreed with LEED practices and documentation requirements. To educate all team members about expectations and process, a LEED kick-off meeting was held with the design team and owner. Construction also required a lot of education, and our design team worked with the contractor to ensure that the intent and documentation requirements of waste management, indoor air quality, and stormwater pollution prevention were well understood. Sustainability specifications were developed to guide the contractor through the LEED practices and documentation process. In the construction documents, for example, forms for division 2-10 materials cost and forms for documenting recycled content, regional materials, FSC wood, and VOC compliance were provided for the contractor and subcontractors to fill out and submit for review. Including these forms in the specifications allowed for a streamlined submittal review and clear communication between the LEED project manager and construction project manager regarding LEED construction credit compliance.
The building required a highly regulated environment to protect archived works of art, as well as a clean and healthy environment for the large concentration of students who occupy the building regularly. Consequently, the museum collection area and classrooms have increased ventilation and precise HVAC systems to maintain relative temperature and humidity.
Lastly, conducting a split review for both projects allowed for transparency. By conducting a split review and having the design documentation reviewed and approved prior to construction, changes required in design for LEED compliance were easily incorporated into the project via addenda. Conducting a split review allowed for less LEED-related change orders, and it created confidence that the team would earn the certification level required.
What key metrics best define the project's most significant savings or LEED-related successes?
- Projected water use reduction: 39.3%
- Projected energy use reduction: 21%
What project challenges became important lessons learned?
One of the best decisions made on this project was to use pre-cast engineered concrete walls and a double-layered exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS) for the envelope. This decision expedited the building schedule and showed us that a sustainable solution does not have to be expensive and can be beneficial in the short term and long term.
This west entrance of the IAIA Sculpture and foundry building is where students and staff can enter to access the media labs, conservation/science labs, faculty offices, state-of-the-art digital dome, and Museum of Contemporary Native Arts’ permanent collection.
Another key moment that turned the direction of the project was the decision on landscaping. During initial design, landscaping was value-engineered out and a limited amount was set aside for it. Later during construction, a design-build landscape contractor was brought in to address the site. We faced a lot of issues since the contractor was not involved in the initial design development. There were many conflicts on the grading and landscaping design that created concerns, but were resolved at the expense of time and money. Even though we had followed a comprehensive integrated design process with all other vested members, this lapse in the involvement of landscape designer was an expensive mistake.
What was the value of applying LEED to this project?
Working collaboratively and interactively together with the building owners, consultants, and other design professionals from the early planning stages through to building occupancy was so successful that the structure, building site, lighting systems, heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems, and indoor environment exceeded the design.
The integrative process also allowed the team to identify and better understand the design goals of each party, and provided a forum to take advantage of complementary systems and design principles to satisfy multiple design goals.
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