High Performance Buildings
In accordance with Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) § 16a-38k, the CT Office of Policy and Management (CT OPM) and the CT Department of Construction Services (CT DCS) have issued regulations for the Establishment of High Performance Building Construction Standards for State Funded Buildings. They have also developed a guidance document – Connecticut Building Standard Guidelines Compliance Manual for High Performance Buildings – which provides detailed information regarding the regulation requirements. This Guideline can be found online on CT OPM’s website at:
LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
The state Department of Construction Services has developed and administered, through design and construction, the following “Green Building” projects based on standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. (The Gateway Community College and the Norwalk Community College projects are in the construction phase.) The LEED Green Building Rating System® is a voluntary standard for achieving the goal of producing a new generation of buildings that deliver high performance inside and out.
Norwalk Community College Center for Science Health and Wellness
Gateway Community College
ECSU Science Building
WCSU Science Building
WCSU Residence Hall
SCSU Residence Hall
ECSU South Residential Village Complex
The LEED designation verifies an environmentally friendly design and sustainable building construction. A sustainably-designed building is more energy efficient, has better indoor air quality and occupant comfort, less environmental risk, uses materials that are less detrimental to natural environment, and uses the building site's natural resources wisely in order for the environment to continue to sustain itself.
LEED provides a complete framework for assessing building performance and meeting sustainability goals by emphasizing state of the art strategies for site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
The DCS Energy Unit is involved with two distinct areas of conservation for state buildings: (1) existing building retrofit projects and (2) coordination of utility program involvement for state-owned new construction and major renovation projects.
The DCS Energy Unit is directly responsible for a program that develops and implements energy retrofit projects in existing state buildings. These projects range from minor lighting upgrades to complete building HVAC system rehabilitation. Many state-owned new construction and major renovation projects are eligible for utility design assistance and rebates for up-grading energy systems and equipment. The Energy Unit is available to assist designers, agencies, and DCS Project Managers with these efforts.
Using funding that was established in 2002 from the Energy Conservation Management Fund, DCS has identified over fifty (50) energy-saving retrofit opportunities in various State buildings through 2009. Working on its own, DCS assigns on-call energy engineering firms to conduct audits, prepare analyses, make recommendations, prepare design documents for DPW to approve and put out to bid for implementation. Measures involve lighting replacement, installation of occupancy sensors and HVAC system controls, and replacement of major HVAC equipment. Working with the Connecticut Light and Power Company, DCS is helping to coordinate implementation of a program to up-grade lighting and to install occupancy sensors and some other equipment controls in a variety of State facilities.
Early in 2009, DPW compiled a list of potential energy-saving projects from many State agencies and submitted it to the Governor’s Office for inclusion in the State Energy Plan to obtain Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money. For the past several years, DCS has been working with the Office of Policy and Management and the Governor’s Office to refine the list of those projects showing the most potential for energy savings. Once funding is obtained, DCS will arrange for detailed energy audits of the listed buildings and, where appropriate, move forward to design, bidding, and construction in approximately sixteen (facilities).
Life Cycle Cost Analysis
The DCS Energy Unit is responsible for review and approval of Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) submissions for all state-funded new buildings, additions or renovations. This includes not only state-owned buildings, but also state-funded municipal school projects. Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 16a-38 requires that design professionals perform an LCCA for all state-owned or funded new buildings, additions or renovations, in order to evaluate all reasonable alternate designs for life cycle cost effectiveness. A Life Cycle Cost Analysis Determination Request is the first submission by the designer. The DCS Energy Unit shall evaluate the data to determine if a full LCCA is required for a given project.
The DCS Energy Unit works with other state agencies, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, the Connecticut Green Building Council, as well as design professionals and building contractors to develop an information base and “best practices” regarding high performance, or “green,” buildings. The information is used to promote design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and the occupants of those buildings and to emphasize the positive effects of: (1) sustainable site planning, (2) safeguarding water resources and ensuring water efficiency, (3) maximum feasible incorporation of energy efficiency and renewable energy, (4) conservation of materials and earth resources and (5) indoor environmental quality. The DCS Energy Unit provides a resource for the General Assembly and the public to obtain detailed information and linkage to other organizations regarding high performance buildings.