Introducing CleanEdison Blog’s new series: LEED Certifications of the month!
Each month, more and more buildings receive their LEED Certification from the USGBC. This process takes over a year and is rightfully cause for celebration for those involved, and those who support resource and material conservation. Meeting the LEED standards is no easy feat and should be appropriately recognized for the achievement. In no particular order, here are some of the buildings that achieved certification in January:
January was dominated by colleges and universities, which have a solid track record of sustainability.
Rock Valley College – Karl J. Jacobs Center for Science and Math
Rock Valley College in Rockford, Il was awarded a LEED Gold Certification for their Karl J . Jacobs Center for Science and Math (JCSM). THE JCSM is the second building at Rock Valley to be LEED Gold certified – making it the first community college in Illinois to have two LEED Gold certified buildings and is one of only 20 in in the entire country to achieve that feat.
Rock Valley has been a leader in energy conservation and waste recycling for many years, but the Board of Trustees has made a formal commitment to be a leader in sustainability, not only through green design and LEED certification of all future building but in their philosophy of day to day College operations such as waste recycling and the use of green cleaning products.
Some of the features incorporated into the building project include:
- 420 ton closed-loop geothermal system provides 100% of heating and cooling load utilizing a central modular heat pump system
- Chilled beam cooling system
- High efficiency domestic water heating system
- Low flow plumbing fixtures that reduce consumption by 30%
- 1.5 Kw photovoltaic system
- Recycled 76.07% of all construction waste – diverted 382 tons of waste from the landfill
University of Wyoming – Bim Kendall House
The Kendall House, home of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, was awarded the LEED Gold Certification. In 2007, the University became a charter member of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, part of which means that all new construction will be built to at least LEED Silver standards.
The Bim Kendall House’s LEED Certification was based on a number of green design features, including:
- Rooftop photovoltaic panels
- Low-emitting paints, carpets and adhesives
- Individual heating and ventilation controls
- Public transportation access
- Rapidly renewable building materials
- Use of natural daylight – or ‘passive solar’
Rice University – Baker College
Baker College was the first residential building on Rice University’s campus. Now, the newest addition to Baker College has earned the school a LEED Silver Certification. A previously energy inefficient, leaky building has been noticeably transformed into a haven of sustainability. In 2006, Rice University made the commitment to have every new building LEED certified, but the true goal is at least LEED Silver.
Sustainability at Baker is not limited to the residential college building itself. The new Baker Kitchen employs a farm-to-fork-to-farm process in which the kitchen buys produce from a local farmer and sends back scraps as compost. In addition, the green roof provides produce and minimizes runoff
Some features included in the project include:
- 89.8% of all waste collected during the process was recylced, amounting to a total of 2,188 cubic yards of waste diverted from the landfill
- Water efficient fixtures
- Individual heating and air conditioning controls
University of Connecticut – Laurel Hall
Laurel Hall, the new classroom building that opened in 2011 in the center of the Storrs campus, has received LEED Gold Certification, the highest achieved so far for a building at UConn, which has committed LEED for all new construction since 2007.
The 68,000 square-foot building includes 17 classrooms and 2 auditoriums, as well as a 6,500 square-foot green roof.
The project also included:
- Rapidly renewable materials, such as bamboo, for the flooring and millwork
- A bioswale and permeable pavers to help improve stormwater runoff
- Over 50% of building materials were either locally extracted or manufactured using recycled materials
- Diversion of 884 tons of construction waste from landfills
- Energy-saving window glazing
Astellas Pharma US – New Headquarter for the Americas
Located off I-294 in Northbrook, Il, the Japanese-based pharmaceutical company announced that its new American headquarters has received a LEED Gold Certification. Opened in June 2012, the complex accommodates more than 1,000 employees in two six-story building totaling 425,000 square feet and a cost of approximately $150 million.
The Northbrook complex obtained LEED Gold for features including:
- 77% of wood from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council
- Use of 35% recycled materials, use of 45% locally-manufactured materials and the recycling of more than 85% of waste during construction
- Indoor secured bicycle storage and showering facilities
- More than 70% of the facility’s parking under cover to reduce heat island
- Landscape irrigation from retained storm water
Metropolitan Square Office Building
The building, which is managed by Boston Properties, received a LEED Gold Certification for Existing Buildings. The Metropolitan Square office building is located in Washington DC, a hub for LEED Certifications due to Federal Initiatives.
Metropolitan Square implemented many sustainability actions to achieve Gold Certification, including:
- Implemented water efficiency measures that are expected to reduce water consumption by 3 million gallons annually
- Diverted 91% of the electronic equipment solid waste from the landfill
- Achieved an ENERGY STAR rating of 86 out of 100
- Documented annual emissions reduction of 17,350 tons of CO2.
- Documented a 78% reduction in conventional commuting trips
- Metropolitan Square recycles approximately 60% of the daily ongoing waste stream
Grand Rapids, MI – Operations Center
The Rapid Operations Center, which runs the Grand Rapids transportation system, received a LEED Gold Certification. The building houses the Rapid’s dispatch center, maintenance facilities and training center. It also contains storage areas for the system’s fixed-route buses.
The project that created the operations center actually ended up costing $1 million less than the project’s original budget, showing that sustainability can be done economically.
The project had many sustainable features, including:
- A water reclamation scheme that saves nearly 9 million gallons a year
- A 40,000 square-foot green roof
- A natural light and natural ventilation system
- Radiant floor heating in the garage
Stay tuned for more LEED Certifications in February!
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