90.H - Sustainable Purchasing

Board Policy Code: 90.H
Adopted: 2011-05-10T00:00:00
Revised/Readopted: 06/11/14

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of the Columbia Gorge Community College policy on sustainable building is to demonstrate the College's commitment to environmental, economic, and social stewardship, to yield cost savings through reduced operating costs, to provide healthful environments for students, faculty, staff and visitors, and to contribute to the College's goals of protecting, conserving, and enhancing the region’s environmental resources.

1.2 Policy

It is the policy of Columbia Gorge Community College to finance, plan, design, construct, manage, renovate, and maintain its facilities in a sustainable fashion. This applies to new construction and major remodels (in excess of 50% of stated replacement value) in which the total project building square footage meets the criteria given. The latest edition of the US Green Building Council’s LEED rating system and accompanying Reference Guide shall be used as a design and measurement tool to determine what constitutes a sustainable building by national standards. All new facilities over 5,000 gross square feet and major capital renovations costing more that 50% of building replacement value shall meet or exceed a LEED Silver rating or equivalent.

Design and project management teams are encouraged to meet higher LEED rating levels.

1.3 Organizations Affected

All College divisions, departments and offices and their contractors responsible for financing, planning, designing, developing, constructing, renovating and managing College-owned facilities and buildings regardless of location will comply with this policy.

1.4 Definitions

Sustainable Building

Sustainable building integrates building materials and methods that promote environmental quality, economic vitality, and social benefit through the design, construction and operation of the built environment. Sustainable building merges sound, environmentally responsible practices into one discipline that looks at the environmental, economic and social effects of a building or built project as a whole. Sustainable design encompasses the following broad topics: efficient management of energy and water resources, management of material resources and waste, protection of environmental quality, protection of health and indoor environmental quality, reinforcement of natural systems, and integrating the design approach.

Replacement Value

A building's replacement value is the most recent value as determined through appraisal or cost estimated calculations for purposes of standard insurance coverage that would replace a building due to partial or total loss without depreciation and include any updated ordinances or code changes since originally built.

Life Cycle Cost Analysis

An inclusive approach to costing a program, facility, or group of facilities that encompasses planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance over the useful life of the facilities and finally any demolition or disassembly costs. Life Cycle Cost Analysis looks at the net present value of design options as investments. The goal is to achieve the highest, most cost-effective environmental performance possible over the life of the project.

LEED Rating System

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is a consensus-based, market-driven green building rating system. It is based on existing, proven technology and evaluates environmental performance from a "whole building" perspective. LEED is a certifying system designed for rating new and existing commercial, institutional, and multi-family residential buildings. It contains prerequisites and credits in five categories: Sustainable Site Planning, Improving Energy Efficiency, Conserving Materials and Resources, Embracing Indoor Environmental Quality, and Safeguarding Water. There are four certification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

1.5 Procedures and Responsibilities

All College employees whose responsibilities include planning, designing, constructing or renovating College-owned facilities shall be responsible for ensuring that facilities and buildings comply with 1.2.

The College's Facility Services Department shall be responsible for annually evaluating and reporting to the Sustainability Committee how applicable College construction and renovation projects meet the goal of sustainability.

The authority to determine the appropriate level of Sustainable Building (i.e. sustainable building best practices or LEED silver) is the Chief Talent and Strategy Officer who will rely on recommendations from the Facility Services Department.

1.6 Budgeting and Financing for Sustainability

All capital construction which falls under this policy will be expected to budget to meet, at minimum, the LEED Silver rating or equivalent. Budget planning and life cycle cost analysis to achieve a higher rating of gold or platinum is encouraged. The program, division, department or other unit initiating the project will budget accordingly.

1.7 Education

College capital project managers currently managing or likely to manage projects which fit the criteria in 1.2 will be responsible to attend introductory LEED training or equivalent and annual follow-up training.

1.8 Exemptions

Buildings whose primary use is for machinery storage and similar uses are exempt from this policy because of the nature of the LEED rating system. Also exempted are site work, landscape and infrastructure projects. These exceptions, however, are only for the LEED rating system.

Every project should address to the fullest extent possible sustainable building practices. Sustainable practices include those elements of planning, design and construction that promote the efficient use of energy and material resources, the conservation of water, and the protection of land and water resources. Projects utilizing the sustainable practices approach will use the LEED process and rating system or equivalent to the fullest extent possible.

1.9 Requirements Table


Sustainable Practices

LEED Silver (or higher) or equivalent

Renovations to buildings value < 50% of building replacement





Renovations to buildings value >50% of building replacement for projects equal to or greater than $1,000,000




New or renovated landscapes and infrastructure.



New building construction less than 5,000 gross square feet




New building construction > 5,000 gross square feet



1.10 Cost

Building in a sustainable manner at the Silver certification level is typically 1%-5% of building construction and design costs.

These costs, however, will result in savings for the institution many times over the initial investment. A 2003 studycompleted for the State of California estimated the cost savings to be tenfold over the life of a building. Beyond capital costs, there may be incremental costs to include Project Manager training in LEED certification, commissioning, and application costs.

1.11 Expiration

This policy will expire five years from the Effective Date noted on page 1. In year four, a study is to be engaged to identify and propose modifications to the policy.

1The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings.Greg Kats, Capital E. October 2003.