Green in more ways than one

25. prosince 2012 v 10:21 |  solar photovoltaic system
When the Tulare Center for Agriculture and Technology opens in January, not only will it be a state-of-the-art, bigger and better, it will also be environmentally friendly.

The new campus, located near the corner of Bardsley Avenue and Oakmore Street, across the street from Mission Oak High School in Tulare, was designed to be energy efficient and sustainable for decades. It is LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - certified.

To obtain LEED - Green Building - Certification, the new campus met approaches to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Specific strategies at the new campus relate to the LEED certification:

Alternative Transportation - the campus encourages students to avoid single-occupied vehicles. The campus has two bus lines that stop in front of the campus at Building A. The bus lines provide transit to the city of Tulare and to the Southeast Tulare County bus line, one that services Strathmore, Lindsay and Porterville.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations - COS provides 20 (120V GFCI) charging stations. The service is free.

Preferred parking for employees, guests and students is provided for anyone who drives a low-emitting or fuel-efficient vehicle. Drivers may contact the registrar for special-parking approval.

An additional 20 preferred parking spots are allocated for drivers who carpool to the site.

Rain and storm water is processed through a closed-loop system, keeping all rain on site and maintaining a natural filtration process similar to that prior to the campus' existence. Run-off storm water from parking lots, roofs and walkways replenishes a natural aquifer and is pumped through an existing well and used to irrigate the campus vegetation and agriculture land.

A landscape plan reducing the amount needed for irrigation by 63%.

The campus has replaced dark roofs with white ones and uses lighter colored concrete to reduce heat-island effect - the process of dark surfaces used on parking lots, roofs and walkways absorbing the sun's warmth and releasing it at night, creating an artificial rise in temperature.

Water usage was reduced by 35% by installing efficient toilets.

Additional water savings was accomplished by the installation of laboratory sinks aerators.

Numerous energy-savings strategies designed into the buildings, including reduced indoor lighting and the development of a central plant to heal and cool adjacent buildings.

More than 20 percent of money spent on materials for the buildings, excluding mechanical, electrical, plumbing and furniture, came from recycled sources.

The Hanover is also supporting Worcester's Festival of Lights through a $5,000 grant to the American Antiquarian Society, which presents the holiday season lighting program to the City of Worcester. The grant will support students at Worcester Technical High School, who design and build street lighting displays using "green" LED lighting. In addition to the seasonal street lights in downtown Worcester, the Festival of Lights includes the city's official holiday tree lighting and choral performances.

With the weather getting colder, the Hanover will donate $5,000 to support the Coats for Kids program, which collects winter coats and other clothing for children in local schools. In addition hundreds of The Hanover's employees contribute coats, hats, mittens and gloves, and make personal donations.

In order to make sure everyone has a present under the tree this Christmas, the Hanover will make a $5,000 contribution to Toys for Tots, led by the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve. Through this program, members of the Marine Corps Reserve collect new, unwrapped toys for distribution to needy children. In addition to the company's grant, many employees will contribute both toys and funds to the organization.

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