The downtown campus of Spartanburg Community College has been recognized by a green building certification program for energy efficiency and environmental design.
The Evans Academic Center recently received LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating program.
More than two years ago, college officials partnered with McMillan Pazdan Smith architectural firm to revitalize the building and add classrooms and administrative offices. During the project, college officials said they wanted an energy-efficient design and used sustainable or green resources and materials. The effort helped the campus achieve the certification by the green building council.
The former Evans Building, included on the National Register of Historic Sites, was originally built in 1921. It has previously been the home for Frank Evans High School, Spartanburg High School and Evans Jr. High School.
Karen Calhoun, business development director for McMillan Pazdan Smith, said the school was smart to have renovated the building, saying it saved the school money while giving new life to a historic building in Spartanburg.
“Spartanburg Community College was visionary in pursuing this,” she said.
The 104,000-square-foot building was renovated and restored. The ornamental stone work and Gothic-style windows were preserved.
Water-efficient irrigation and plumbing fixtures, custom energy-efficient windows, water-sourced heat pumps and special interior finishes all led to the building obtaining the certification.
College officials were also awarded points for using an existing building in an urban setting with close proximity to a residential area and public transportation.
Chris Swale, LEED administrator with McMillan Pazdan Smith, said energy and environmentally friendly projects are harder to complete in existing buildings.
“It makes the efficiency part more challenging,” he said.
Calhoun said the renovation project benefits both the college and the city.
“It's a win-win for the community, and for the college and the people who use that building,” she said.
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