U.S. Air Force Academy – Center for Character & Leadership Development – Sustainable Design

Being an exemplar of sustainable design is among the primary goals for the U.S. Air Force Center for Character & Leadership Development. SOM has approached sustainability through the lens of integrated building systems, which influences all aspects of design, construction, and operation. The building has earned LEED®-NC Gold certification.

Overhead radiant panels and thermally active concrete slabs provide an efficient heating and cooling medium. Ventilated air is decoupled and delivered at low speeds through displacement diffusers near the floor. As the air comes into contact with heat sources, it warms and rises, maximizing occupant comfort. The tall skylight serves as a solar chimney, exhausting hot air at its peak.

Thanks to the skylight and floor-to-ceiling glazing for all offices and classrooms, natural light will fill the building's interior. Energy-efficient lighting fixtures, daylight and occupancy sensors, and motorized shades work in concert to conserve energy. Water use is minimized through low-flow faucets and showers and ultra-low-flow toilets and urinals. Photovoltaic panels will generate renewable electricity and help reduce energy costs.