With the summer coming to an end also comes time for students to return back to the classroom. For a select group of students at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational-Technical (GNBVT) High School, September also means returning to work on the Lloyd Center for the Environment’s Living Building Challenge™ (LBC™) Welcome Center project.
The students of GNBVT first arrived at the Lloyd Center in 2017 to prepare for constructing the LBC™ Welcome Center, the second of the Lloyd Center’s exciting facilities projects.
Spring of 2017 entailed learning more about the Lloyd Center, the nature of the building, and the site work that was already underway. Most importantly, it was a comprehensive introduction to a construction process that exceeds most major certifications for energy efficiency and green construction standards.
Since fall of 2017, students have been involved in physically building and installing all components of the LBC Welcome Center. In doing so, they have been exposed to “green building” principals and techniques which will be in high demand in their future construction, architectural, and environmental design careers.
This fall, construction will begin where it left off in June. Carpentry students will travel to Coastal Metal Service in East Bridgewater to learn how to work with the metal roofing components. Once training is complete, students will then return to the work site and install a metal roof on the LBC building. Carpentry students will also install the building’s windows and interior walls.
Students in the plumbing and electrical technology programs will also return to the site to work on the building’s electrical and plumbing needs. Throughout the school year, students from many other career technical programs will also benefit from working on the LBC Welcome Center project, on and off the field.
Of course, all is dependent on the vetting process of all materials used in the building. LBC requires that a building meet 20 very strict imperatives in the categories of site, water, energy, health, materials, equity, and beauty. Buildings cannot use materials from the “red list” which contain chemicals or chemical groups determined to be harmful to creatures, humans, or the environment. The materials must also be “locally sourced” as much as possible.
The building must be net positive energy, net positive water, and net positive waste. Certification is only granted after a building has documented that it has reached all requirements for 12 consecutive months. As of today, only 1412 buildings in the world have achieved certification.
The Lloyd Center’s Welcome Center project is the only LBC building being built entirely by high school students. Way to go, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational-Technical High School students!