Campus Initiatives: Buildings: Inman Admissions Welcome Center

The Inman Admissions Welcome Center is the starting place for the thousands of prospective students and guests who visit campus each year. Per the University’s Green Building Policy, the building was designed and constructed to be high performance sustainable building using the LEED program and received a Silver certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is an internationally recognized benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

Project Summary

The Inman Admissions Welcome Center is the home of Admissions and Financial Planning Offices. Construction began in late 2013 and completed in January 2015. The two-story building is 30,000 square feet and located on the north side of campus on N. O’Kelly Avenue

Sustainable Sites

The facility is located within walking distance of many commonly used buildings on campus, such as Moseley Center, Lakeside Dining Hall, Koury Athletic Center and Belk Library. Students can also access the Biobus system near the building. The project site was designed to provide green space and pedestrian walkways to encourage the use of outdoor space. There are bike racks for students and others who get around campus via bike. The parking lot has spaces designated for low-emitting fuel-efficient vehicles. LEVs include non-hybrid and hybrid models that have been classified as Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board or have achieved a minimum green score of 40 on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) annual vehicle rating guide. To learn more about LEVs and to find out if you drive one visit www.greenercars.org. A LEV permit is required to park in these spaces and can be obtained from the Traffic Office. There is also a Tesla charging station in the parking lot for visitors and guests.
Construction of the facility reduced imperviousness or hard surfaces, which reduced stormwater runoff from the site by 50%. 

Water Efficiency

All of the plumbing fixtures in the building are low-flow. The lavatory faucets use 0.5 gallons of water per minute and sensors control how long they operate. The toilets have dual-flush handles, and the urinals use only 1 pint of water per flush. These fixtures are expected to reduce the building’s potable water usage by about 36%.   
The landscaping around the building is designed to minimize the need for irrigation. When it is needed, the automatic irrigation system is supplied with stormwater collected in the ponds located on campus, including Lake Mary Nell.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient systems were integral in the design and construction of the Inman Admissions Welcome Center. The building is about 27% more energy efficient than a building that meets the standard building energy code. Among the energy efficiency strategies there are variable speed drives, energy recovery wheels, variable air volume air handling units, high efficiency condensing type boilers, dual level light switching, light occupancy sensors, and instantaneous water heaters. The lighting itself is also energy efficient with many of the lights being LED, including the chandelier lights. There is metering for water, natural gas and electricity, which allows for improved monitoring and tracking of consumption. Electricity usage will be available through the Building Dashboard. One will be able to view and compare total use vs. lighting use, plug use and HVAC use.

Materials and Resources

During construction, 75% of the waste was recycled or reused, which kept it out of the landfill.
In addition, building materials with recycled content (pre and post-consumer) were used, 20% based on cost. Using recycled content reduces the need for virgin materials.
To support the regional economy and reduce the impact of transportation, regional materials were used as much as possible. In the LEED system, regional materials are those that are extracted, harvested, recovered and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. Based on cost, 40% of the building materials are regional. In addition, several furniture pieces used in the building were manufactured in North Carolina.   
As in all buildings at Elon, recycling containers are located throughout the building for paper products and plastic, glass and metals (e.g., aluminum beverage cans, steel food cans). Cardboard recycling is also available. Other items are recycled in designated areas on campus such as batteries, printer cartridges and small electronic items.

Indoor Environmental Quality

Providing excellent indoor environmental quality was another essential component in the design and construction of the Inman Admissions Welcome Center as it contributes to the health and productivity of building occupants. Great care was taken during construction to ensure the building and systems were kept clean and free of contaminants benefiting the construction workers and the eventual building occupants and users. During construction, duct work was kept covered to prevent debris from accumulating, and a special sweeping compound was used to minimize dust.
The adhesives, sealants, paints and carpets used in the building contain low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Low VOC products allow for better air quality during and after construction. The entry way mats also help provide good indoor air quality be preventing dust and other contaminants on shoes from entering the building. Most full-time offices have a window. Studies have shown that natural light improves occupant well-being and productivity.

Many of the office furniture pieces have earned sustainability-related designations, such as BIFMA’s level and SCS Indoor Advantage. A green cleaning program is also used in the building, which benefits occupants and maintenance personnel. Green cleaning improves air quality, occupant health and well-being and is better for the environment. The program includes (but is not limited to) the use of Green Seal certified or equivalent cleaning products that have low chemical content, bulk dispensing systems to reduce packaging waste, microfiber cloths to reduce use of disposables and vacuum cleaners with high-filtration systems to contain particulate matter.

Innovation and Design Process

This category within LEED recognizes exception performance and innovative strategies not covered in previous categories.
The Inman Admissions Welcome Center will be added to the online real-time electricity monitoring system (Building Dashboard). The following items will be monitored and displayed: electricity (total consumption and broken down by HVAC, lighting and plug loads), water and natural gas. The system will allow occupants as well as anyone else to view and track the utility consumption in the building. Providing this information is part of the educational program for this building as is this web site and providing tours. If you would like a tour focusing on the sustainable features of this building, please contact us.