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A new chiller plant constructed by SCEC at Pine Crest Preparatory School in Fort Lauderdale has achieved the city's first LEED® Gold Certification for New Construction from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The chiller plant project was designed to greatly improve the energy efficiency of the school's 50-acre Fort Lauderdale campus as the school strives to green its facilities. It is Pine Crest School's first LEED-certified building.

Among the project's sustainable elements are two rainwater cisterns, a photovoltaic system, and a chemical-free termite protection system. The two 4,900-gallon steel cisterns use rainwater collected from the roof to irrigate the plants and trees surrounding the building via drip irrigation.

Paul Carty, LEED AP, is a Vice President of SCEC and a Board member of the USGBC South Florida Chapter. "Our team was able to achieve the Gold Certification thanks to the participation of our subcontractors, a forward-thinking design team, a proactive owner, and the support of the City of Fort Lauderdale's Building Department," Carty said.

Other green features: low-VOC paints and construction adhesives, a highly reflective roof coating, recycled and local building materials, and drought-tolerant native landscape. More than 85 percent of the construction waste was recycled.

The 4,200-square-foot chiller plant houses three new 750-ton high-efficiency chillers and three new cooling towers. To connect the new chiller plant to the buildings, the project team installed almost 7,000 feet of underground chilled water distribution piping throughout the occupied campus.

SCEC, of Hollywood, Fla., was construction manager for Pine Crest School. RMF Engineering Inc. of Mount Pleasant, S.C., was the lead design firm, and Zyscovich Architects of Miami was the project architect.

The Pine Crest Central Chiller Plant is the first building in the city to achieve LEED certification of any level in the New Construction category. The USGBC's LEED green building rating system is the preeminent standard for the design, construction, and operation of sustainable buildings.

SCEC has been a general contractor in Florida for more than 40 years, and the firm's roots extend to 1927. SCEC offers experience in commercial, civil, educational, and sustainable construction.

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