USC LEEDing by example
The University of South Carolina has much to celebrate with South Carolina’s making the list of the top 10 states for LEED green buildings.
The only Southern state included on the U.S. Green Building Council list released March 2, South Carolina came in at No. 5 on ranking, which was based on square footage of LEED-certified space per person in 2010.
USC is a major driver of South Carolina’s success, said Michael Koman, USC’s director of sustainability.
“To see South Carolina ranked among the top states in the country is gratifying, as it shows that our commitment to sustainability and education is producing results,” Koman said. “All of this, of course, would not be possible without the partnerships we have developed with others who are committed to green building and sustainability issues, such as the S.C. Chapter of the USGBC, members of the design and construction industry, other state agencies and regional manufacturers.
USC has constructed three LEED buildings that comprise 517,983 square feet of space, Koman said. The university’s Columbia campus will more than double that figure in the next two years with the completion of several projects, including the renovation of a residentice hall, and a building on the historic Horseshoe. Add to that several buildings – 360,000 square feet – that were designed and constructed to LEED standards.
USC ushered in an era of building green in 2004 when it opened Green (West) Quad, the state’s first public LEED building and the first green residential hall in the United States. Perhaps even more important of a first was that USC was able to build Green Quad at the same cost as traditional design, Koman said.
“We showed it could be done,” he said.