4H Building

By Leigha Felice

IMG_8383The Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center is a building for the youth, adult volunteers, community organizations and Ohio State University partners. It was designed by Lincoln Street Studio Architects and Planners, an award winning firm. It is a space for youth outreach through global experience. There are 4-H youth development education programs including research , teaching resources, and service opportunities. It’s a center to “make the best better”. It encourages the youth to be get involved in positive programs, gives access to technology, has professional teachers and research, and well trained and equipped volunteers.


The 4-H building is a building based on a “green design”. A green design balanced environmental responsibility, resource efficiency, occupant comfort, and community sensitivity. The building aimed for an LEED certification and then became a case study for future projects. To become LEED certified you have to be ranked in 5 categories, site sustainability, water efficiency energy and atmosphere, materials and resource, and quality of indoor environment.

During construction, they avoided the demolition of trees and habitats to save as much of the natural environment as possible. The buildIMG_8389ing was built near a bus line which promotes public transportation. There is a parking lot near the building but they chose a size that promoted carpooling and other energy efficient transportation. Also, to the light the parking lot and the surrounding of the building, light post had lights that point downward to reduce light pollution.

Within the facility, water usage is reduced by 30%. Toilets are equipped with dual flush systems so the user can decide how much water is needed and urinals are waterless reducing wasted water. Also in bathrooms, the faucets have automated sensors to turn water on only when it is needed. Storm water is manage on site to help reduce run off and erosion.

To heat and cool the building, it is equipped with geothermal systems and it is the primary method. Day lighting and task lighting are used to reduce the need for fluorescent lighting systems. A highly reflective roof was added to the building to reduce the abortion of heat. This will lower the cost of cooling the building. Also, monitoring systems were added to measure energy consumption levels.

While the site was under renovation, 50% of all debris was recycled. Choosing materials that have been recycled was encourage throughout the building. Carpets were made of recycled material and concrete and steel had recycled components. Throughout the building are marked trash and recycling bins for the recycling program, promoting recycling.

The building is located on the Ohio State University Campus and the campus is a no smoking zone. Limited contamination systems were used during the construction phase. In the building there are carbon dioxide monitors to help monitor levels. Low emitting VOC materials were used in construction and in design of the building. At each main entrance, grates are placed to collect unwanted contaminates from being tracked into the building. Rooms that do contain contaminates are then separately vented. Daylight is used instead of traditional lights to reduce electricity. Daylight is used in 75% of the occupant space and outside views are in 90% of regularly occupied spaces.

Because of all these efforts, the 4-H buildings became the first building on Ohio State University’s campus to achieve LEED Certification. It also won Outstanding Achievement Award by American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio in 2009.