Pomona College Biology Building Receives National Environmental Award
Pomona College’s Richard C. Seaver Biology Building has been awarded a silver certificate from the U.S. Green Building Council under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. This places the building in the top 1 percent of all academic laboratory buildings in the country in energy-conscious design.
The $23.5 million biology building achieved the college’s environmental goals by maximizing natural light filtration with large windows, light shelves and a three-story glass atrium and through the use of high efficiency indoor lighting, photovoltaic panels for solar energy, certified renewable wood, recycled construction materials, low-emitting materials (e.g. adhesives, carpet), and a thermal energy storage system that will help the college to reduce energy use during peak demands.
Among other features:
- “cool roof” materials save approximately 2.6 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions per year (equivalent to 269 gallons of gasoline);
- water reduction measures will save 35,200 gallons of water per year, enough to do 782 loads of laundry or flush a toilet 7,040 times; and
- the atrium’s 2.5 kilowatt solar panels save five megawatt hours per year which could be used to make 25,000 pots of coffee or microwaving 100,000 burritos.
Overall, building energy measures save 1,280,868 kBtu’s per year equaling 375,385 kilowatt hours or 112.6 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions. This amount is the equivalent 34 tons of waste diverted from the landfill, 238 barrels of oil, or enough electricity to power 13 homes for a year.
The 46,270-square-foot, three-story building contains four teaching labs, two classrooms, four greenhouses, 15 faculty laboratories, 15 faculty offices, instrument rooms, two student lounges, sterilizer and glass washing rooms, incubator rooms, darkrooms, walk-in cold (or warm) rooms, sterile glass transfer rooms and common-use facilities. It opened in January 2005 and exceeds California energy-related design codes by 10 percent, yielding an estimated $75,000 per year in energy savings compared to a building that meets current Title 24 energy requirements.
Designed by the firm Bauer & Wiley and built by Hensel Phelps Construction, the new biology building was named after Trustee Emeritus Richard C. Seaver '43 to recognize his many decades of exceptional service to the College as a trustee and honorary trustee. It is located at 175 W. Sixth St., Claremont.
Pomona College is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Over the last five years, biology has been one of the College’s five most popular majors, notable for the close relationships between students and faculty, and its range of opportunities for student research.