University to strike LEED Gold on Earth Day
The University of South Carolina has won the Gold!
The university will announce its first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold-rated building at an Earth Day (April 22) event on campus.
Josh Boltinhouse, the Midlands Branch chairman of the S.C. chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), will present university officials with a plaque at a 2 p.m. public event at Honors Residence, a residence hall for students in the S.C. Honors College that opened last August. The event will feature an eco-friendly reception and displays that will highlight the breadth and depth of the university’s sustainability efforts.
The USGBC’s LEED certification program is the nationally accepted standards for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. There are four LEED certification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
With a LEED Gold rating, Honors Residence has set a new standard for green building at the university.
“The University of South Carolina was among the first schools to implement green buildings on campus and in the country,” said Michael Koman, the university’s director of sustainability. “We continue to improve our efforts in constructing buildings that are cost effective, healthier and utilize less energy and water. The Honors Residence is an example of how the university is developing projects that reduce, and may someday eliminate, environmental and economic impacts.”
In addition to Boltinhouse and Koman, speakers included Dr. Davis Baird, dean of the S.C. Honors College, and Rohail Rashid Kazi, hall government president for Honors Residence and a sophomore biology-chemistry major from Greenville.
Honors Residence is the second building on campus to have a LEED designation. Green (West) Quad, a residence hall that opened in 2004, was awarded a LEED Silver rating in 2005.
Since the building of Green (West) Quad, the university has made a commitment to green building practices. The Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library, expected to open this summer, has been designed and built to a minimum LEED Silver standard, as was the Arnold School of Public Health, which opened in 2006.
The green features of Honors Residence range from energy savings and water consumption to the recycling of the bluestone and veil block from the “Towers” residence halls that were razed to build the new residence hall. The 191,123-square-foot hall features 356 rooms, numerous study areas and living rooms on each floor, multiple smart classrooms for instruction, an indoor bicycle room with shower, a dining hall and a Starbucks.
For more information on the sustainability at the University of South Carolina, visit the Web site: www.sc.edu/green. For more information on the USGBC LEED certification, go to the Web site: www.usgbc.org/