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NCSSM Greens Buildings and Educates Students

Discovery Center Project

The $70 million Discovery Center Project, adding new science labs, classrooms, faculty offices, library, student study areas, cafeteria and new student residence halls, will help complete the transformation of an old Watts Hospital complex into the model high school that was started in 1980.  The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is proposing that these buildings become tools in teaching green building science and principles to occupants and users. The project will be LEED Silver. 

Devices that are being considered on the NCSSM Campus will include:

  • Underground cistern for storm water management and central courtyard irrigation
  • Green roofs on low terrace roof areas - energy star roof on others
  • Elimination of impermeable pavement no longer needed
  • On-site energy generating columnar wind turbines
  • Sun shading devices on glazed walls and within exterior glass
  • Controls and energy use monitoring
  • Day lighting of public spaces and labs
  • North-South building orientation to maximizing day lighting
  • Operable exterior windows for residence hall rooms
  • Individual controls per residence hall room

The Discovery Center design will be used to communicate that future buildings should reflect 21st Century thinking and become a model in using the built environment to educate highschool students about technology, ecological design, research, energy efficiency, green technology and even the power of communal spaces, empowering campus users as equal stakeholders in addressing a global concern. 


NCSSM Ongoing Environmental Sustainability Activities

  • 61.5 tons of newspaper, cardboard, magazines, office paper, mixed paper, telephone books, hard back books, etc. were recycled in FY 2008
  • 11.1 tons of containers (aluminum, steel, glass, plastic) were recycled in FY 2008
  • An estimated 4.0 tons of organic materials (wooden pallets, yard waste and food scraps) were recycled in FY 2008.
  • An estimated .25 tons of batteries, motor oil, and tires were recycled in FY 2008.
  • All shower heads on campus were changed from the old 2.5 gpm shower heads to water saving 1.5 gpm shower heads.
  • In process of changing out the old T-12 light fixtures (ballast and florescent tubes) in the PEC to the energy efficient T-8 fixtures. Currently approximately 70% complete.
  • Emails are sent to the staff and students encouraging them to turn off all lights, computers, printers, etc, and to unplug dorm refrigerators before leaving for holidays and extended weekends.
  • NCSSM has de-lamped all drink machines and food vending machines.
  • NCSSM continues to convert all incandescent lighting to compact florescent lighting.
  • No space heaters are allowed at NCSSM.
  • Software has been installed on NCSSM’s computers to turn off monitors after a set period of inactivity.
  • Students and staff are encouraged to turn off lights and equipment (excluding computers) when leaving a room.
  • Staff is encouraged to turn off lights and unnecessary equipment at the end of the day.
  • NCSSM reduced its water usage by 7% during fiscal year 08-09 as compared to fiscal year 07-08.
  • Decals are put on light switches reminding people to turn off the lights when not in use.
  • In a newly renovated dorm suite, occupancy sensors were installed in common areas.


For further information, please contact:

Ed McBride

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations


(919) 416-2659