In March, the Math & Science Center became LEED certified.
(LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
and was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council--more on this
in a moment). But unlike the 2002 LEED silver certification of
the Whitehead Biomedical Research Building, this latest certification
didn't make much of a splash on campus.
was that? Ironically, it has to do with Emory's strong commitment
to its green building program and the fact that all new construction
projects use LEED's guiding principles. In fact, Emory has been
at the forefront of green building on university campuses and elsewhere.
the University of California system considered adopting the LEED
standard, Emory was held up as the best example of a university
that had gotten it right. Also, Emory is recognized the green building
leader in the Atlanta region; recently the Atlanta City Council
adopted a resolution that all new city buildings over $2 million
should be LEED certified, and our expertise was used to support
only has LEED become common on university campuses, but the green
building movement is growing rapidly. When Whitehead was certified,
it was only the 24th building in the country to carry such credentials.
Now there are 107 LEED-certified projects and more than 1,300 projects
registered with the program.
does it mean to use LEED on a construction project? The system
evaluates the environmental performance of a capital project based
on five categories: site selection and design; efficient use of
water; energy use and its impact on the atmosphere; materials and
resources used; and indoor environmental quality.
example the Math & Science Center incorporates an 80,000-gallon
retention vault for stormwater. Water from the vault is used for
irrigation; as a result, no potable water is used for irrigation
around the building. This measure, along with a water-based laser-cooling
system (used by the physics department), will reduce water use
in the building by almost 70 percent.
energy use during the building's design is projected to save 20
percent of total energy used. Further, 78 percent of the material
content used in Math & Science is recycled, and 70 percent
of it comes from within 500 miles of Atlanta. Ninety percent of
all occupied spaces in the building are daylit. Finally, the building's
paints, adhesives and carpets emit low amounts of volatile organic
compounds that can contribute to breathing problems.
is an impressive list of achievements, but it only gives a hint
of the environmental features of this building--and it is only part
of the LEED story at Emory. Facilities Management now has seven
LEED-certified professionals on staff, and more projects about
to be certified. The new Winship Cancer Institute and renovated
Candler Library soon will be submitting for LEED certification.
the next year, Emory will have more than a million square feet
of LEED-certified building space--more than 25 acres. And soon we
will have close to 1 percent of all of the LEED building space
in the United States.
that is newsworthy.