The Whitehead Biomedical Research Building has become the first
building in the Southeast to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Whitehead is one of just 24 buildings in the nation to attain LEED
certification, a rigorous process that evaluates the environmental
sustainability of building design, construction and operation. The
$82.7 million, 325,000-square-foot Whitehead Building opened in
“Emory is proud of our commitment to a ‘green’
building program,” said President Bill Chace. “It is
absolutely necessary that major institutions take an environmentally
sustainable approach in planning and development given the challenges
we all face regarding declining air quality, depletion of natural
resources and traffic congestion.”
Emory has ambitious aspirations when it comes to the LEED program.
The University is seeking certification for two other major academic,
research and medical buildings—the Mathematics and Science
Center, which opened this summer, and the Winship Cancer Institute,
scheduled for completion in fall 2003.
In fact, the University currently has 10 projects that will be submitted
for LEED certification, or that are being designed, renovated or
constructed according to LEED principles, for a total of about 1.1
million square feet—or 25 acres. Emory also has been selected
to participate in a pilot program to assess the effectiveness of
applying LEED principles to existing structures.
The Board of Trustees recently endorsed LEED for use as a guiding
principle in the development of all the University’s construction
and renovation projects.
“LEED makes good business sense,” said Robert Hascall,
senior associate vice president for Facilities Management. “The
initial cost of a greener building is recovered through lower operating
costs throughout its life cycle, particularly in the area of energy
savings. There’s also evidence that green buildings increase
employee productivity, reduce rates of sick leave, increase the
rate at which students learn and improve employee morale.”
The LEED system focuses on five areas in the design and construction
of environmentally friendly structures: building site selection
and erosion control; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; materials
and resources; and indoor environmental quality.
Emory’s green building program is one of the University’s
many environmental initiatives, which include an extensive alternative
transportation program, the creation and continued development of
a core walking campus, and a nationally recognized recycling program.