District News Releases - Ohlone College President's Office

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Office of Public Information
Ohlone Community College District

For Immediate Release:

Ohlone College Builds Environmentally Friendly Campus

Fremont, CA—The new Ohlone College campus in Newark is nearing completion. Under construction since Fall 2005, the Ohlone College Newark campus is scheduled to open for classes in January 2008. Located near the 880 corridor, the second campus location will provide students that live or work in the north end of the college district improved access to Ohlone College.

The new campus is called the Center for Health Sciences and Technology. It houses career programs in health care, in the sciences and in emerging technologies. This includes programs such as Nursing, Respiratory Therapist, Biotechnology and Environmental Studies. Ohlone also offers a full complement of General Education courses for students seeking an AA / AS degree or to transfer to a four-year college or university.

The building has been built to the highest standards of environmental sustainability using best practices of energy conservation. The College is designed to achieve Platinum level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED rates facilities on a range of eco-friendly standards, including energy and water efficiency and the use of environmentally sound resources. According to the East Bay Business Journal, only 48 buildings in the world have achieved Platinum certification. Ohlone College is on track to receive this prestigious award after its completion.

Many of the environmentally sound practices used at the Ohlone College Newark campus are well known: Solar Panels that provide energy for the building or drought tolerant landscaping. Ohlone has installed 1585 Photovoltaic panels (PVP) on its roof, currently the largest installation of PVP panels in the Silicon Valley. The panels will provide up to 50% of the building’s energy needs. Ohlone’s landscaping plan for drought resistant, native plantings that includes soil and watershed conservation has garnered the College recognition from StopWaste.org in the form of a $110,000 grant for green building and Bay Friendly Landscaping®.

In addition, some less familiar techniques of saving energy and conserving natural resources include using recycled materials in the construction. The terrazzo flooring and the carpeting make use of recycled goods. The insulation in the walls is made from recycled blue jeans. The wood doors and cabinetry are made from machiche, a hardwood harvested in Guatemala under standards set by the Forestry Stewardship Council that reduces deforestation, protects watersheds and wetlands, while still providing income for the local inhabitants.

Two relatively unknown energy savings techniques come from natural sources, the earth and the air. Geothermal heating and cooling and enthalpy wheels will help reduce energy usage in the building. Underground geothermal coils covering more than four acres provide a natural source of heat and cooling for the building, using less energy and reducing the need to burn fossil fuels used by more traditional HVAC systems. The enthalpy wheels also maximize the use of outdoor air brought inside the building to improve indoor air quality at the same time recapturing the energy from the exhausted air, lowering the amount of energy needed to re-heat or re-cool the incoming air.

The use of low emission materials in the paint, the carpet and the furnishings, diversion of 50 to 75% of construction waste, use of alternative transportation, and the reclamation of a Brownfield site where soil was contaminated by toxic pesticides round out the extensive list of methods employed in creating a nationwide model of green construction that will set the standard for educational institutions in the future.


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