The center features classrooms and an auditorium/theater with a stage, uses a geothermal HVAC system, skylights, glue-lam beams, tongue and groove ceilings and sports a living roof. It is the first City of Asheville LEED certified project, which was designed by Mathews Architecture PA to be LEED Gold certified but with extra effort to gain additional points in various categories, we were able to reach a LEED Platinum certification.
During construction, more than 75 percent of all construction waste was diverted from the landfill and recycled. Building materials were sourced locally when possible, and all the wood used was Forest Stewardship Council-certified. Six geothermal wells were dug to supply the building with heat from the earth. While installation cost more on the front end than traditional HVAC, geothermal systems saves money and energy over time. In winter, the pump pulls heat from the wells into the building. During summer, the pump is reversed so it removes heat from the building and disperses it into the ground.
The two vegetative roofs have lots of positive environmental impacts. They not only provide visual relief, but also extra insulation and lower the degradation of the roof while needing little to no maintenance.