The Fitzpatrick Center's LEED Certification

The Fitpatrick Center is LEED CertifiedThe Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences (The Fitzpatrick Center, or FCIEMAS) at Duke University is a state-of-the-art research facility and represents an outstanding team effort at LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building.

Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering partnered with architectural firm Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership and construction company Skanska USA Building, Inc. to design and construct a 322,000 research and teaching complex on Duke University's West campus. Our subcontractor partners include: BR+A for mechanical engineering, Cagley & Associates for structural engineering, John R. McAdams for civil engineering, EDAW landscape architecture, and the Farnsworth Group as the commissioning agent.

The information on this page was provided by Skanska USA Building, Inc., courtesy of Shelley McPhatter, project manager and LEED 2.0 Accredited Professional.

Sustainable Site Features

Heat Island Prevention. The term "heat island" is used to describe the peak in ambient air temperature that occurs over large developed parcels of land. The structures constructed on these sites, such as buildings, streets, and parking lots, are often made from materials with low albedo values. As such, these structures tend to absorb heat rather than reflect it, which results in temperature increases in the atmosphere above. These higher temperatures raise smog levels, and increase fossil fuel consumption as a result of increased air conditioning use. To mitigate any heat island effects, The Fitzpatrick Center employs a higher reflective membrane roof that reflects 75% of incoming solar energy. Shading from trees and high-albedo paving materials are also used to reduce absorption of solar energy.

Light Pollution Reduction. All site lighting at The Fitzpatrick Center is capped with down lighting shrouds to eliminate light trespass from the site and reduce any impact from development on the local nocturnal environment.

LEED Credits Achieved: SS4.1- alternative transportation; SS4.2 - bicycle storage and change rooms; SS5.1 - reduce site disturbance, protect or restore open space; SS6.1 Stormwater management, rate and quantity; SS7.1 - landscape and exterior design to reduce heat islands, roof; SS7.2 - light pollution reduction.

Water Efficiency

Potable water use is significantly reduced for general building usage and is eliminated for irrigation purposes. Low flow lavatories and water closets, and waterless urinals contribute to a 53% reduction of potable water use for building consumption.

Irrigation needs are managed by incorporated native plantings into the landscaping design that require less irrigation than non-native plantings, and through the use of sensors that control irrigation activities based on rainfall volume. In addition, a 70,000-gallon cistern collects rainwater from roof drains, groundwater from underslab drainage, condensate from air handling units, and reverse osmosis reject water for irrigation of both the The Fitzpatrick Center landscape and that of the adjacent Divinity School addition as well.

LEED Credits Achieved: WE1.1 - water efficient landscaping, 50% reduction; WE1.2 - water efficient landscaping, no potable use or no irritation; WE3.1 - water use reduction, 20%; WE3.2 - water use reduction, 30%

Energy Efficiency

Energy usage in The Fitzpatrick Center has been reduced by 15% through design that reduce heating and cooling loads, using brick and stone veneer cavity walls with CMU backup and rigid insulation, and ceramic-coating glazing that allows 70% daylight transmission while limited solar transmission to 31% and providing a U-value of 0.29 BTU/hr-ft2. The lighting design incorporates high-performance light fixtures and occupancy sensors throughout the building that alter the light levels to suit the needs of each individual space. Offices and interactions areas were designed to maximize daylight and reduce usage of artificial lighting. Further energy savings is achieved through custom-built optimally-sized air handling units, variable frequency drives, and heat wheel recovery systems for the auditorium and laboratory exhaust systems. The expected energy cost savings are realized and maintained through building systems commissioning, and measurement and verification of the MEP systems.

LEED Credits Achieved: EA1 - optimize energy performance, 15% reduction; EA3 - additional commissioning; EA5 - measurement and verification.

Indoor Air Quality

Careful choices for materials and construction methods provide the building occupants with improved indoor air quality. Zero- and low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) carpets, paints, adhesives, and sealants are used throughout the building. Certain laboratory spaces required different paints to control light reflectance, and those paints have slightly higher VOC content. However, by compensating with zero-VOC paints wherever possible, the building’s overall VOC content from interior paints is 16 g/L (flat paint finish) and 62 g/L (non-flat paint finish).

Ductwork was wrapped to prevent particulate contamination during delivery, installation and construction. Construction activities were staged and isolated where necessary to minimize airborne contaminates.

A moisture control and mold prevention plan was implemented during construction to eliminate the potentially harmful effects of mold growth in the newly constructed facility. This plan includes: identifying potential sources of moisture infiltration during the design and pre-construction phases of the project; sequencing work activities to minimize the potential for moisture infiltration and mold growth; employing active temperature and humidity controls when necessary to provide a suitable indoor work environment prior to permanent enclosure and conditioning of the building; establishing a standard process to monitor humidity levels during construction activities prior to permanent conditioning; establishing an inspection procedure for areas prone to excess moisture; and including a procedure for remediation in the event that mold growth is discovered.

A comprehensive indoor air quality testing program prior to occupancy of the building, monitoring of carbon dioxide levels, and automated controls of temperature and humidity ensure that indoor air quality targets are achieved.

LEED Credits Achieved: EQ1 - carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring; EQ3.1 - construction IAQ management plan, during construction; EQ3.2 - construction IAQ management plan, before occupancy; EQ4.1 - low emitting materials, adhesives and sealants; EQ4.2 - low-emitting materials, paints; EQ4.3 - low-emitting materials, carpet; EQ5 - indoor chemical and source control; EQ7.1 - thermal comfort, comply ASHRAE 55-1992; EQ7.2 - thermal comfort, permanent monitoring system.

Resource Management

In choosing materials for The Fitzpatrick Center, the team sought to encourage recycling and sustainable forest management, and to support the local economy. Nearly 30% of construction materials were manufactured and/or harvested within 500 miles of the project, including a large volume of locally quarried stone, concrete, custom air handling units and landscaping. Over 85% of the wood used in the project is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, including 70% of that used for the laboratory casework.

Construction materials, particularly the structural steel, architectural metals, aluminum building panels, ceiling tile and light gauge framing, contain in total 4% posts consumer recycled content and 14.5% post industrial recycled content.

Site demolition debris, concrete spoils, and construction waste were diverted from landfills through the project’s construction waste management program. Trees that were removed were mulched to be used for campus landscaping; concrete from a demolished roadway and parking lot was collected by a recycling company for re-use as road base material; nearly 200 tons of CMU waste was recycled. In all, 75% of the construction waste was recycled instead of landfilled.

LEED Credits Achieved: MR2.1 - construction waste management, divert 50% from landfill; MR2.2 construction waste management, divert 75% from landfill; MR4.1 - recycled content, 5% of building materials; MR4.2 - recycled content, 10% of building materials; MR5.1 - regional materials, 20% manufactured regionally; MR7 - certified wood (FSC)

Integration of Sustainability in the Design and Construction Process

These measures were achieved by combining the sustainable design expertise of all involved in the conception, design and construction of The Fitzpatrick Center. In early green design charrettes and feasibility studies, the USGBC LEEDTM rating system was used as a framework to define the sustainability goals of the project, and helped the team prioritize features and practices that reasonably could be incorporated into the design. Those features and practices that would result in reasonable or no additional cost were implemented as sound design decisions. Once the decision was made to pursue a LEEDTM rating, the team determined which additional credit would be targeted. In addition to using the sustainability goals to inform the project's design, language was added to each specification section to clearly translate these goals into design criteria and incorporated into subcontract packages to ensure compliance. Skanska conducted subcontractor training sessions as a means to further improve the integrated approach to LEED certification utilization on the project.

Several green building mechanisms were implemented during the construction phase of The Fitzpatrick Center. These strategies were developed as a means to support and successfully implement duke University's comprehensive environmental sustainability initiatives. Components of Skanska's ISO-14001 Certification meshed with the project's targeted sustainability goals, such as site protection measure and diverting construction waste from landfills and into the recycling loop. In order to address the complex documentation and reporting challenges presented by the project, Skanska initiated a comprehensive training program to educate and equip subcontractors with regard to the LEEDTM rating system and green building in general, and development and implemented a web-based LEEDTM information management system, LEEDBuilder, that provided a common documentation platform for the Owner, Architect, CM, and subcontractors. In addition to its user-friendly function, step-by-step instructions, detailed submission descriptions, credit calculations capabilities, and project communication tools, LEEDBuilder also allows online, paperless submission to the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

The collaborative approach taken through the project's design and construction resulted in balanced and effective solutions to the challenges that presented themselves along the way. Because of this, The Fitzpatrick Center will provide the faculty and students an energy efficient, comfortable and beautiful facility in which to perform their research.