March 13, 2009 by Darrell J. Pehr NMSU News Center
The New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved two buildings with a combined construction cost of more than $11 million during their meeting Monday that are expected to meet criteria for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. One of the buildings also will have a hand in training students for “green-collar” jobs.
Michael Rickenbaker, director of Facilities Planning and Construction at NMSU, said one building, at the NMSU-Carlsbad campus, is being designed to achieve a LEED Silver or Gold certification while another, at NMSU-Alamogordo, will be designed at the LEED Gold level. The Alamogordo building not only will be designed with the environment in mind, it will function as a site for technological training for “green-collar” jobs and education in sustainability.
“We are committed to incorporating sustainability into the design of our buildings,” Rickenbaker said. “These projects are excellent examples of what can be done to ensure that a sensitivity to the environment is a key part of our process.”
The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These levels correspond to the number of credits accrued in six design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process.
The 17,500-square-foot Allied Health Building at NMSU-Carlsbad, at a cost of $6.8 million, will house allied health training, classrooms, laboratories and offices to support the nursing program. The Southern New Mexico Advanced Technology Education Center at NMSU-Alamogordo, at a cost of $4.2 million, will be an addition to the existing Tays Center and will include 10,454 square feet of new construction and 2,292 square feet of renovations.
“This facility will house new programs developed in coordination with the local community to provide much-needed technological education,” Rickenbaker said. The new structure will house the new automotive trades center, which will include a focus on electric and hybrid vehicle technology, as well as a multi-purpose trades center and classrooms.
Both projects received significant funding from local general obligation bonds as well as other sources. The Carlsbad project received $3 million from state general obligation bonds as well as $800,000 from New Mexico Legislature Capital Outlay funds.