Leading LEEDS

ABS Information Commons

Read the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Coverage

MMA recently announced that it has been awarded LEED® Platinum for its American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons. This is the first LEED Platinum building in the commonwealth’s college and university system. The ABS Information Commons is home to the Academy’s Academic Resource Center, 360º bridge simulator, library and archives collection, and classroom and meeting space. The project achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable solutions in the following:

Energy efficiency –heating and cooling generated by a 48-well, closed loop, geothermal heat pump, electricity provided through 103kW, rooftop, solar photovoltaic array and procurement of wind energy renewable energy credits, use of daylighting, motion sensors and LED lamps, and chilled beam HVAC system. The building is designed to run at least 35% more efficient than standard construction.
Innovation and design – the building utilizes a sloped roof specifically designed for solar photovoltaics.nThe sloped roof also allows for maximum wind flow over the building that improves performance of thenAcademy’s wind turbine. A rotund column inside the building effectively provides space for the Academy’s bridge simulator that trains cadets on the operation and handling of vessels, while other spaces in the column are used for academic resources.

Water conservation – restrooms are equipped with low flow fixtures. The sloped roof allows for flow of rainwater to a bio-swale that provides habitat for flora and fauna; no irrigation is provided.
Construction materials selection – framework constructed of 100% recycled steel, concrete comprised of 20% recycled content, insulation made from 40% recycled materials, and use of rapidly renewable wood.
Sustainable site selection – the building was placed on a former parking area and did not replace existing or open green space. The building is elevated above flood levels as measure of resiliency.

Vice President of Operations, Paul O’Keefe, stated, “The Academy takes pride in being the first Massachusetts state college/university to achieve LEED Platinum. This accomplishment is one of many the Academy has taken to be a leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship. We are looking forward to continuing this process and providing a learn-do- learn environment for our cadets.”

The ABS Information Commons is the third LEED certified building on campus and joins the LEED Gold 1st and 2nd Company Dormitory Expansion completed in 2008 and the LEED Silver 4th Company Expansion completed in 2014.

The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.