LEED Certification and How We Make an Impact

At Custom Aire, we strive to do our best on every project of which we are a part. This means paying close attention to every detail, to go above and beyond general guidelines and standards. We are honored to have been the primary mechanical contractor on University of North Dakota’s Gorecki Alumni Center, a project that took all details very seriously. The goal for the Gorecki was LEED certification, and our experience and qualifications in environmentally mindful HVAC contracting served us well in fulfilling our role in this project. Not only is the Gorecki Alumni Center LEED certified, but in 2013 it received the highest level attainable and became Platinum Certified – the first such building in the state of North Dakota. The Gorecki Center also holds the distinction of being the first alumni building in the nation to be erected to these standards.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, status is based on a seven-part scorecard, each part with numerous subcategories. The scorecard’s main categories are Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Material & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation, and Regional Priority Credits.

The role of a mechanical contractor is significant in the construction of a building that receives the highest level of green building certification. Custom Aire has had a hand in many of the areas rated on Gorecki Center’s LEED scorecard. Read on to learn about some of our standout contributions.

Water Efficiency and Regional Priority

We installed plumbing fixtures that contribute to the reduction of water usage, including waterless urinals, low-flow toilets, and sensors on faucets. These features are part of the Gorecki’s overall water-reduction plan, resulting in a reduction of 38% more water per year than standard buildings. This comes into play in the Regional Priority Credits section as well, where several environmental design aspects are rated together.

Hallway under constructio

Energy and Atmosphere

Enhanced refrigerant management, which contributes to minimized depletion of the ozone and mitigates global climate change, is accomplished by utilizing mechanical equipment and refrigerants that comply with strict protocols. Additionally, renewable geothermal energy keeps costs low by requiring less electricity and equipment to run.

We developed the operations and maintenance manuals for both systems, while providing training to key personnel so the systems are used to the most efficient degree possible.

Indoor Environmental Quality

Custom Aire specializes in healthy indoor air. We assured a high degree of indoor air quality by adhering to building flush-out requirements prior to occupancy. This helps to maintain optimum humidity levels and internal temperature as part of the Indoor Air Quality Management plan. A permanent outdoor air delivery monitoring system detects proper carbon dioxide levels, creating an environment that is not only cost-effective, but healthy and comfortable for occupants.

We also prioritize the use of adhesives and sealants that comply with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for volatile organic compound (VOC) limits and restrictions. This includes things like contact adhesives, plastic welding cement, and metal-to-metal sealants. Even our fabrication shop has an impact by staying compliant with Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA) Indoor Air Quality Management standards related to HVAC equipment and ductwork during construction.

As the primary mechanical contractor on your green project, Custom Aire can help you design, build, and complete your project to the highest level of green guidelines, not to mention conserve the valuable resources around us. It is a privilege to have been a part of such a groundbreaking and environmentally conscious building as the Gorecki Alumni Center, and we look forward to discussing your project needs. Contact us today to learn more.

Atrium in Gorecki Alumni Center.
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