Health and Wellness Center

Building Statistics, Facts, and Features

Statistics and Facts:

Square Footage: 48000

Designed Capacity: 646 students

Green Design Concept Award Winner (2008) by the Green Education Design Showcase

Exceeds standards set forth in Governor Deval Patrick’s Executive Order #484 which mandates minimum energy efficiency requirements for new construction projects.

The new building benchmarks include the following:

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification

42 points (out of 69): GOLD level

Achieves energy performance 20 percent better than the current Massachusetts Energy Code

Reduces outdoor water consumption by 50 percent and indoor water consumption by over 40 percent in comparison to baseline measurements

The Health and Wellness Center is only community college building to receive LEED Gold Certification under Version 2.2 in the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Building Features:

State-of-the-art simulation laboratories that replicate hospital settings and real world diagnostics in the health care professions

New smart classrooms that integrate computer multimedia and network technology

8000 square foot gymnasium for use by the College’s championship athletic teams

Fitness center to promote health and wellness of college community


Natural lighting that maximizes southern exposure which reduce the need for lighting during daytime hours.

Louvers mounted to the exterior on the south classroom windows and roof overhang around the fitness center windows help to reduce heat gain by shading the glass from the sun’s heat.

Windows are low-E double-glazed argon filled gas units

Gymnasium ceiling is painted white and classrooms have white acoustical tiles which help to direct light deeper into the space while also absorbing noise.

A series of strategically placed interior transom windows transfer daylight from classrooms to interior corridors.

Clerestory windows in the gymnasium allow light reflected from the adjacent expanse of white roof to help light the space.

High efficient lighting fixtures are paired with occupancy sensors that maximize the amount of daylight available. These sensors control lights on sunny days and switch them off when classrooms are unoccupied.

Energy Efficiency

Reflective roofing materials reduce heating and cooling loads

Operable windows allow for natural ventilation, improved comfort and reduction of cooling loads

High efficient lighting, HVAC equipment and controls, the use of high performance windows, floor, wall and roof insulation contribute to an anticipated energy savings of 1225 MBtu/year ($41641 cost savings) in comparison to baseline modeling.

Building is designed for an Interior Lighting Power density rating of .8 Watts per square foot which is a 30 percent improvement over the baseline case used for energy modeling.

Indoor Air Quality

Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label Plus certified carpet tiles

Improved indoor air quality and reduces volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions

Meets low-emitting criteria for Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) national program

Tile format allows for easy replacement if damaged due to wear or spillage

Building minimizes exposure of building occupants to potentially hazardous particulates and chemical pollutants.

Permanent entry systems that capture dirt and particulates and minimize dissemination throughout the building

Room separations for custodial closets, equipment and copy rooms that each includes adequate exhaust and ventilation of air.

Filtration media rated at MERV 13 for all mechanical ventilation equipment.

Site Features

Sustainable Site Location

The site is “sustainable” because it is a previously developed site that is not considered to be prime farmland, a designated wetland or habitat for any species on the Federal or State threatened or endangered species list.

Alternative Transportation Options

The site is located in close proximity to public transportation and several basic services such as banks, restaurants, libraries, post office and parks. This utilizes existing infrastructure and ultimately protects and preserves habitats and natural resources.

The site design also incorporates 40 bike racks within 5 yards of the building and 12 shower/changing facilities that encourage the use alternative transportation options for students, faculty and staff.

LEED points were awarded for including a revised parking initiative which provides reduced parking feed for students who utilize low emission and fuel efficient vehicles.

Light Pollution Reduction

The site design strategies reduce “light pollution,” or unnecessarily bright or uncontrolled lighting. This improves safety, maximizes visibility and reduces impact on nocturnal environments.


Several LEED points were awarded because many materials in the project were sourced within a 500 mile radius of the college. This reduces the overall environmental impact of the project to the entire region. Locally sourced materials include reinforcing steel, plants, concrete, metal doors, CMU blocks, sheetrock studs, welded wire fabric and precast concrete walls.

All the wood mill work used in the project came from managed forests and was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label Plus certified carpet tiles
Improved indoor air quality and reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions
Meets low-emitting criteria for Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) national program
Tile format allows for easy replacement if damaged due to wear or spillage

All composite wood, agrifiber and adhesive products contain no urea formaldehyde content.

These include:
Hardwood and engineered plywood panels
Contact adhesives
Acoustical wall panels
Bulletin boards

Stormwater Management

In an effort to reduce unnecessary runoff, rain is diverted into two bio-retention ponds that irrigate native wetland plants. This helps to restore underground streams. Wetland plants selected include Clethra, Carex, Cornus, Myrica, and Pannicum.

Fescue grass was selected for lawn areas because is the most drought tolerant variety, and in the summer it may go dormant. All landscaping features drought resistant plants indigenous to the area. These include native plants such as Amelanchier, Acer, Quercus, Clethra, and Myrica. Drought tolerant plants selected include Acer, Cornus, Gleditsia, Pyrus, Taxus, Liriope, and Pennisetum.

Water Use Reduction

Low flow fixtures, faucets, toilets and showers have been utilized throughout the building. These measures allow a 41.5 percent water savings reduction in comparison to a baseline case. This represents a projected savings of nearly 500,000 gallons of water per year.

Waste Management

LEED points were awarded for the development of a solid waste management protocol for the BHCC campus. This establishes guidelines for waste management and regular participation in the national RecycleMania competition.