The Rawls College of Business building – which was completed in Dec. 2011 – achieved Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification based on its energy use, lighting, water and material use, as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
Meeting the Requirements
LEED certification of the building was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. Some of these features include:
- 1,600 tons of the brick, concrete and masonry from Thompson and Gaston Halls, the original buildings on the site, were crushed and reused as fill to re-level the site where the building stands today.
- Designers used recycled materials in floors and countertops.
- Collection bins for recyclable materials such as paper, plastic and aluminum are installed throughout the building.
- Exterior glass blocks 40 percent of the sun and some of the windows block 60 percent, keeping heat and cold from entering. This allows for the conservation of electricity for heating and cooling.
- Drought-tolerant landscaping minimizes irrigation needs, and four detention basins control storm water runoff from the building's roof and sidewalks.
- Restrooms include waterless urinals and low-flow toilets that conserve indoor water use.
- Recycled materials are used in the terrazzo marble floor in the building's atrium, carpet tiles throughout the building and in the sinks and countertops installed in restrooms.
- A combination of wired and wireless technologies allows students and faculty to learn, research, and share information.
- Premium parking spaces have been reserved for drivers of low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.
- At the new tobacco-free facility, smoking isn't allowed within 25 feet of any door or air intake for the building. Entrances feature metal grates to capture dust and dirt, thereby increasing the building's air quality and reducing the amount of energy and chemicals it takes to keep it clean.
- Bicycle paths and racks have been installed on site, and the building is located along the campus and apartment bus routes.
For more information on LEED buildings, visit http://www.usgbc.org/leed.