Leading by Example
The list of Green Building Leaders is comprised of 36 schools that earned "A" grades in this category. Below is a sample of 10 very different institutions that all received high marks in the Green Building category. These summaries are based on data from each school’s profile page.
Bates College has adopted the LEED Silver level as a minimum standard for all new construction and renovations. The new campus center and student residence hall have been built to meet that standard. Lumber is sourced primarily from local suppliers and hardwood is utilized so that it can be more easily traced to sustainable forests. Double-glazed windows, low-flow showerheads, and low-flush toilets are standard in all projects.
Emory University has stated that the school has more square feet of LEED-certified green building than any other campus in America. The university’s trustees have made a commitment ensuring that all new construction will be LEED-certified, usually to the Silver level. Emory is also constructing housing close to campus as one of the national pilot projects for LEED for Neighborhood Development.
Florida State University’s new Off-Grid Zero Emission Building (OGZEB) is completely solar-powered, with excess electricity being used to produce hydrogen for energy storage. The OGZEB plans to make use of hydrogen appliances as well as high-efficiency water and electrical systems, and is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification. A new materials research building, scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2008, will be LEED-certified. New construction is designed with LEED points in mind.
At Furman University, LEED requirements were mandated by the trustees in 2001 for all new construction and building renovations. Hipp Hall is the only LEED Gold building in South Carolina. Five buildings are currently registered for LEED certification, in addition to Cliffs Cottage, a residence under construction that will be carbon neutral and LEED Platinum-certified.
In 2006, the Oberlin College trustees adopted a policy stating that all new buildings must be built to LEED Silver standards. The first new facility being designed under the policy is on track to earn LEED Gold certification. The college’s Center for Environmental Studies was selected by the Department of Energy as one of the 30 "milestone" buildings of the twentieth century, and would be LEED Platinum-certified had it not been built before the advent of the LEED system. An innovative "living machine" provides a closed-loop water use, cleansing, and re-use system.
Pennsylvania State University requires LEED certification for all new buildings and major renovations. The School of Architecture building achieved a Gold rating and the Forest Resources building achieved a Silver rating. The Rec Hall Fitness Center project will achieve a Silver rating and Penn State’s Lubrano Park will be the first ever LEED-certified baseball stadium.
Union College has a green building policy and Energy Star-rated buildings. In addition, Union has renovated one of its apartment houses as a sustainable living lab including water reclamation, solar power, green construction and plant material, low-flow toilets, and computer-monitored metering to allow students to compare energy use.
The University of Florida has five LEED-certified buildings, two of which have achieved Gold certification. The facilities planning and construction department requires that all new building be LEED-certified. Currently, 17 new buildings and 35 existing buildings are seeking LEED certification.
The University of Minnesota is pursuing LEED certification on the new 50,000-seat TCF Bank Stadium. The university follows the state of Minnesota’s Sustainable Building Guidelines, which adapt the LEED building policy to specific regional issues, resulting in the equivalent of a LEED Silver rating. The university’s sustainability and energy efficiency policy requires sustainable design guidelines be applied to all major new construction and renovation projects.
The University of North Carolina green building guidelines require that new buildings be designed to LEED Silver standards. Three buildings are seeking LEED Platinum certification. There are 14 LEED-accredited professionals on staff. The university’s new campus, Carolina North, is being designed as a carbon neutral campus with alternative energy sources and building design guidelines considerably above the LEED Silver level.