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Center for Nursing and Health Sciences Earns LEED Silver Certification

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Center for Nursing and Health SciencesSt. Louis Community College’s Center for Nursing and Health Sciences has received a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification.

The LEED green building rating system is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The silver rating is the third highest ranking obtainable under the LEED system.

“The new Center for Nursing and Health Sciences symbolizes a rebirth of the Forest Park campus. We consider it a value-add to the historic significance of Forest Park,” said Jeff Pittman, Ph.D., STLCC chancellor. “The center was designed with students and faculty in mind – to encourage learning, innovation, and the best in patient care. STLCC chooses to build ‘green’ to create a healthier, more comfortable, and more productive work and learning environment for present and future generations.”

The rating is based on incorporation of design and construction features that address site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere considerations, materials and resources usage, indoor environmental quality, and innovative design. To achieve silver certification, a building must earn at least 50 points in those six areas. The CNHS received 54 points.

“The LEED certification for this building continues the commitment the College has made to build facilities that are better for our environment,” said Paul Zinck, vice chancellor for finance and administration. “This commitment is what is best for our communities and our students, and represents the College as a leader in the community and region.”

Some features of the building and construction practices that earned points included:

  • Heating and cooling system that is energy efficient.
  • Separate metering and low-flow fixtures that reduce water usage.
  • Natural lighting that augments indoor lighting to reduce energy consumption.
  • Proximity to public transportation.
  • Reduced parking space and minimal use of asphalt to reduce the urban heat island effect.
  • Charging station for electric vehicles.
  • Bio-swales that assist in rainwater management.
  • Use of recycled and low-emitting materials.
  • Construction waste was recycled to divert it from landfill.
  • Implemented a plan to protect materials and HVAC ducts from dust and other contaminants to improve indoor air quality.

In addition, local and regional sources were used to obtain building materials when possible. There also is no artificial irrigation, and indigenous plant species accustomed to the St. Louis environment were chosen for landscaping.

KAI Enterprises and Tarlton, both based in St. Louis, are credited with the design and construction of the center, respectively.

Center for Nursing and Health Sciences rear viewThe state-of-the-art learning center includes a dental clinic, science labs and classrooms, teaching areas and innovative space in a four-level, 96,000 sq. ft. building. The new center allows the College to expand programs in healthcare careers to serve more students. The center is a strategic response to the need for more skilled nurses and healthcare professionals in the region.

The CNHS is the third STLCC building to receive LEED certification, and the first building of its size in the region to achieve LEED silver certification under new, more stringent standards. The Wildwood campus, which opened in 2007, at the time was the largest community college in the United States to earn LEED gold certification. The William J. Harrison Education Center, which opened in 2010, also earned LEED gold certification, becoming the first “green” public higher education facility of its kind in St. Louis City.

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