By Lynne P. Shackleford
ALEX C. HICKS JR /GOUPSTATE.COM FILE
The Michael S. Brown Village Center at Wofford College, formerly called Phase V, has received the U.S. Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification.
The Village Center is an $11.1 million, three-story mixed-use, store-front building with student loft apartments, meeting space, classrooms with an open, all-glass galleria and market designed as a focal point to the college's village-style senior housing. The Mungo Center for Professional Excellence is on the first floor.
The certification, through independent and third-party verification, recognizes sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and materials selection.
The LEED certification process is based on scores in the five categories. Those projects with 40 to 49 points are certified; 50 to 59 points are silver; 60 to 79 are gold and 80 and above are platinum.
There are 196 LEED projects in South Carolina. Of those, 44 are certified, 91 are silver, 53 are gold and eight are platinum.
The village center is the second Wofford facility to receive LEED certification. The Goodall Environmental Studies Center, in the town of Glendale, received platinum certification in 2010. The Goodall Center is housed in a restored textile mill that overlooks Lawson's Fork and is the hub of Wofford's environmental studies center.
The village center, designed and built in five phases as funding became available, was the brainchild of Wofford college alumnus and benefactor Michael “Mike” S. Brown, a member of the class of 1976, who now lives in Atlanta.
Lani Foster, director of special projects and financial systems at Wofford, said 24 percent of building materials for the center were manufactured using recycled materials. Also, 33 percent of the building materials and products were taken from, harvested or manufactured within a 500-mile radius of Spartanburg.
In addition, the village center was positioned on Evins Street on the northwest end of campus to take advantage of the natural light and reduce the use of energy from artificial light, Foster said.
The building uses an energy dashboard, located in the elevator lobby outside the dining galleria, so people can see in real-time how the building is functioning and its energy use.
Outside the center, there is an electric car charging station and bicycle racks, and a shower and changing facility are on-site for commuters, according to the college.
Summerour Architects of Atlanta was the project architect.
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