GCC Unveils LRC LEED Gold Designation

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Guam – Guam Community College today unveiled the beautiful glass plaque designating its Learning Resource Center as LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) also has verified GCC’s LEED Gold designation.

“We are thrilled and a bit surprised by the Gold designation,” Dr. Mary Okada, GCC President, told students, GCC personnel, and contractors gathered in the atrium of the LRC this morning. “This has been a true team effort on the part of many people. We were expecting a Silver designation, but we are excited to learn that our new building has gold sustainability features.”

The two-story, 22,000 square foot Learning Resource Center opened in December 2010, boasting LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, features such as photovoltaic solar panels, digital temperature controls, energy efficient windows and lighting, and furniture made of recyclable materials.

[Proudly displaying GCC’s LEED Gold plaque certification for its Learning Resource Center are, kneeling, l to r: GCC students Tianna Wusstig, Joanne William, Raylani Meno, Inna Arongaw, and Ashley Munoz. Back row, l to r: Christine Matson, GCC Library Department Chair, Ryuichi (Louie) Masuda and Hiro Oikawa, Asanuma Corporation, Lorilee Crisostomo, Guam Dept. of Energy, Dr. Mary Okada, GCC President, Michael Makio, AIA, TRMA, Ding Vales, EMC2, Alex Andres, TRMA, Dr. Barbara Cushing, TRMA, and Theresa Datuin, GCC Assistant Professor.]

Michael Makio, AIA, Principal, Taniguchi Ruth Makio Architects, designed the $4.3 million facility.  He told the crowd that LEED certification is a very demanding process, but one that is important for the island of Guam.

“We live in a perfect place to practice what we preach,” Makio said of being environmentally sustainable. “We don’t have the resources available that they do on the mainland, so we have to protect what we have.” Makio pointed out that even the asphalt in the LRC parking lot is recycled. “Very little of the debris created during the construction of this building ended up in the landfill,” he said.

Makio thanked his staff sustainability team of Dr. Barbara Cushing, DArch, Cedric Cruz and Rafael Chavez, and contractors EMC2 Mechanical, EMCE Electrical, Duenas Camacho & Associates, and Guam Sustainability Solutions, as well as the building’s principal contractor, Asanuma Corporation, for their considerable efforts in obtaining the LEED Gold designation for the LRC.

Lorilee Crisostomo, administrator of the Guam Energy Office, thanked Dr. Okada for being proactive with the ARRA money that helped to fund some of the building’s sustainability features. She pointed out that the LRC is Guam’s first public building to be designated as LEED Gold.

LEED is a program created by USGBC to recognize outstanding efforts in the design, construction and operation of high-performance, environmentally friendly buildings. USGBC has four levels of LEED certification: basic, silver, gold, and platinum. GCC’s LEED Gold designation is one of several ongoing sustainability efforts under way at the College. Others include the photovoltaic solar panels on the Anthony A. Leon Guerrero Allied Health Center, which helped designate GCC as the island’s largest civilian producer of renewable energy, photovoltaic lighting in GCC’s parking lots, and a recent grant for sustainable furniture for the new Student Center, scheduled to open this December.