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President's Message on Sustainability

NSCC Faculty and Staff sign the last support beam of the new Zero Net Energy Building before it is lifted into place.

North Shore Community College's state-of-the-art Health Professions & Student Services Building, the Commonwealth's first state-owned Zero Net Energy building, demonstrates on multiple levels the college's commitment to create an environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially responsible future for the North Shore region.

An educational institution has to live the values it espouses. We hope that NSCC students will learn integrity while at our school, but integrity is not taught in classrooms – it's taught by the behaviors of institutions – particularly public institutions. The Health Professions and Student Services Building is living proof to our students, employees and region residents of our holistic approach and commitment to sustainability.

A convergence of activity brought us to where we are today. In 2007 the AACC created the President's Commitment to Climate Control, which prompted NSCC to comprehensively embrace sustainability. Green buildings help conserve our natural resources, reduce energy costs and reduce harmful carbon emissions into our atmosphere. Thus the ZNEB building was designed to produce all of the energy required to operate from onsite renewable sources. The renewable energy source used for this building is solar energy, a clean energy source.

The building was developed in partnership with the state Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) in compliance with the state Leading by Example Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings policy, which requires a reduction in overall energy consumption in state-owned and leased buildings. And the building is compliant with a 2008 executive order which requires all new state construction or major renovations to meet the MA LEED Plus green building standards established by the Massachusetts Sustainable Design Roundtable. We are grateful for the collaboration that produced this cutting-edge facility: DCAM, architect DiMella Shaffer, Solar Design Assoc., GZA, RDK and Walsh Brothers Construction.

We welcome you to come to NSCC Danvers and tour the building for yourself or read through the pages presented here to learn more about the many green design concepts that make the Health Professions and Student Services Building such an environmental showcase.

President Patricia A. Gentile, Ed.D.

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