Department of General Services News Release
February 18, 2016
DGS announces first public-use building completed using Virginia-developed green standard
~ Tidewater Community College student services center is first major project using alternative method for energy efficiency, conservation ~
Richmond, VA – The Department of General Services announced today that a newly renovated student services center at Tidewater Community College is the first public-use building in the Commonwealth completed using standards developed in Virginia to promote energy efficiency and conservation in government facilities.
The department’s Division of Engineering and Buildings/Bureau of Capital Outlay Management developed the Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards (VEES) as an alternative to other international green building certification programs such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Green Globes. VEES assures energy conservation and environmental performance standards including the site development, land use, indoor environmental quality, water conservation, and efficiency of energy and resources principles are applied in a consistent and cost-effective manner. Rather than a point system, VEES establishes minimum standards for each of the principles that must be met.
“VEES is an alternative approach to green building principles that allows us to raise the bar on energy efficiency and conservation while keeping in mind that no two projects are exactly alike,” Department of General Services Director Christopher Beschler said. “This built-in flexibility allows us to construct and renovate state buildings in a manner that is environmentally friendly, energy efficient and cost effective.”
The VEES method references the International Green Construction Code but takes into consideration the unique and regional aspects for green building design in Virginia. DGS evaluates each project with the agency or institution and closely matches the VEES requirements with the building’s intended use.
The High Performance Buildings Act, which became Virginia law in 2012, requires executive branch agencies to meet VEES, LEED or Green Globes standards in all new public buildings where construction is greater than 5,000 square feet or in renovations when the cost to renovate exceeds 50 percent of the building’s value.
Renovations to the Bayside Building on TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus involved converting the former campus library, constructed in the 1970s, into a 43,000-square-foot building housing student services, computer and math labs, and more. The project included both interior and major exterior renovations. Existing structure, walls and metal roof were used where possible to reduce the need for new materials, and local and recycled materials were used where required. Incorporation of natural light and LED light fixtures were among green practices employed. The project received its certification for meeting the VEES requirements in December. RRMM Architects of Chesapeake designed and implemented the renovation.
“VEES is an effective method that allowed us to achieve our energy efficiency goals while avoiding some of the administrative costs associated with other green building programs,” said Bert Jones, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management Services for the Virginia Community College System.
The renovation is in keeping with TCC’s goal of promoting student engagement and success by providing a true college experience, said Matthew Baumgarten, Chief Operating Officer for Facilities at TCC. “The new Bayside Building represents a smart use of materials and energy,” he said. “And it’s a beautiful building that is welcoming to students and guides them to the resources they need.”
For More Information:
Dena Potter, Department of General Services, 804-786-0282, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marian Anderfuren, Tidewater Community College, 757-822-1940, email@example.com
Visit www.dgs.virginia.gov or www.tcc.edu.
Original Department of General Services (DGS) News Release can be found here.