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Bayside Building is first in the state to use Virginia-developed green standard

The newly renovated Bayside Building on Tidewater Community College’s Virginia Beach Campus 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 renovation was completed in Fall 2015. Student services located there include admission, enrollment services, financial aid, academic advising and the testing center. The building formerly housed the campus library.

“The Bayside Building was a 1970s-era structure that had simply outlived its usefulness,” Provost Michael Summers said.

“The renovation is so complete that you almost can’t see the original building,” he said. “Now, students who need help find a clear pathway to the services they’re looking for.”

The Division of Engineering and Buildings Bureau of Capital Outlay Management, a division of the Virginia Department of General Services, 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 ensures energy conservation and environmental performance standards in site development, land use, indoor environmental quality, water conservation, and efficiency of energy and resources.

“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 efficient,” he said.

The High Performance Buildings Act, which became 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 involved converting the former campus library into a 43,000-square-foot student services center.

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.

The renovation is in keeping with TCC’s goal of promoting student engagement and success by providing a true college experience, said Matthew Baumgarten, TCC’s chief operating officer for facilities.

“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.”