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  • Leadership in Energy Design (LEED®)

    The Fred M. Rogers Center has received the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED GOLD rating for its design and practices in being a "GREEN" building.

    "The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating system is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green building."  

    For more information on the U.S. Green Building Council, please visit http://www.usgbc.org.

    Site Design

    treesAll of the site storm water is managed and treated on site through vegetated swales, constructed wetlands and dry wells.

    The parking lot is designed to maximize utility without over building the surface through sharing the parking demand between the college campus and the conference center needs in lieu of constructing separate parking facilities to serve each separately.

    Islands within the parking lot are constructed as ‘bio-retention’ areas and planted with water tolerant grasses and shrubs along with sycamore trees. The soil medium and plant material will absorb run-off from the parking surface.

    The mature tree canopy in the parking lot will shade the surface and reduce the heat build-up in the summer months.

    All of the plantings for the building and parking lot are indigenous species, making them suitable for the climate and soils, drought tolerant and low maintenance. The landscaping also limits the amount of turf grass, thus reducing energy needed for cutting and maintenance.

    All site lighting is designed to meet the ‘Dark Sky” Protocol.

    Building Placement and Orientation

    mountainsThe building takes advantage of the natural slope of the site to ‘earth shelter a portion of the lower level, improving the thermal performance of the building and providing access to grade and landscaped areas adjacent to the building from each level of the building.

    The building is oriented with its long façade directly south to take advantage of passive solar gain and the view to the mountains (Chestnut Ridge) on the southeastern horizon.

    The overhangs and balconies on the south are designed specifically for summer shading.

    The roof slopes tilted to the south are optimized to accommodate both solar thermal collection devices (steep sections) and photovoltaic panels (low slope sections) should the college chose to add these in the future.

    The building and parking lot are linked by walking paths and a drop off drive, but separated to maximize the landscape potential directly adjacent to the building.

    Water Conservation

    47% less water used than comparable type and size buildings.

    rain water 

    Drought tolerant plants reducing demand on water use for irrigation.

    All faucets are hands-free automatically controlled and low flow and shower heads are low flow.

    All toilets are low flow type, dual flush and urinals are waterless.

    Materials and Resources

    stoneConstruction Waste Management Plan was utilized to divert waste from landfills.

    Materials were reused or repurposed to reduce the embodied energy or environmental impact of producing new materials. These materials include: cut stone for landscaping walls, reclaimed walnut for interior millwork, reuse of asphalt and gravel from the demolished parking lot and landscaping mulch from trees removed for construction.

    All materials selected for advantages with regard to recycled content, including concrete with fly ash, carpets with recycled plastics, steel from reprocessed scrap metal, porcelain tile with reprocessed ceramics, recycled wood fiber for engineered panel products, etc.

    Use of regional manufacturing and raw material resources including stainless steel roofing from West Virginia, gypsum drywall from Aliquippa, lighting from Pittsburgh, paints and casework from Latrobe, plumbing fixtures and fittings from Erie, roof panels from Central Pennsylvania, concrete from Greensburg, roof trusses and laminated timbers from within 50 miles of the site.

    Regional/local construction talent: it is worth noting that the laborers and skilled trades are predominantly from within 20 miles of the building site, including building superintendent, from North Huntingdon, the electrician from Greensburg, the plumber from North Huntingdon, the millwork and casework fabricator from Latrobe, etc…. All of this reducing travel time, gasoline consumption and investing in the local economy of the project site. All paints and coatings are low VOC and exceed the Pennsylvania standards for good indoor air quality.

    All carpets, adhesives and processed material binders are selected to meet strict limits for indoor air quality including formaldehyde free products.

    Rapidly renewable materials such as cork, linoleum and bamboo are used as finished materials reducing long term impacts to the environment since the raw materials for these products grow back within a couple of years.

    Indoor Environmental Quality

    sunlightFRC is a smoke-free building.

    90% of all occupants are able to open a window near their workstation or in their office.

    90% of all occupants have access to daylight and view.

    Individual control of window shades and lighting is provided to work area. Post occupancy review of thermal comfort will be performed.

    Increased fresh air designed into the ventilation system, with CO2 monitoring to balance fresh air with occupant loads.

    Printer rooms and janitorial closets have dedicated exhaust to remove chemical pollutants from the building and isolate harmful chemicals from occupied spaces.

    Additional Innovations

    FRC will have educational displays to inform the users and public about green building and special features environmentally sustainable of the building, as well as conduct tours of the building in conjunction with the wetland remediation project on campus and the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve adjacent to the site.


    green earth 

    The FRC is engaged in a ‘Green maintenance’ program that recycles waste from the building, uses environmentally safe cleaning products and practices, environmentally sensitive landscape maintenance practices (i.e.: ice melt products that are safe for plants and natural water systems), and potentially implement methods that will transform the practices of the commercial kitchens on campus (composting vegetable waste, recycling plastics, cardboard, aluminum, and using less disposable products).

    Furnishings meet the standards for Indoor Air Quality and recycled content products.

    Sustainability through Durability

    brick wallWith the use of stainless steel for the roof, concrete structure and brick for the exterior wall cladding, the building’s exterior will weather gracefully and require little maintenance for generations.

    Emotional Durability: The environmental comfort, the abundant natural light, the rich/warm materials and the generous volumes of space make the Rogers Center a place that is emotionally durable. A building worthy of our affection will be cared for and enjoyed for many, many years. Fred Rogers’ work and the work of the Benedictines have already proven sustainability through emotional durability, so too will this building/landscape called the Fred Rogers Center.