University of South Carolina

University awarded first LEED Gold rating

The University of South Carolina, a leader in collegiate sustainability, celebrated a green milestone on Earth Day (April 22), when it was awarded its first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold rating for its Honors Residence.

Josh Boltinhouse, the Midlands Branch chairman of the S.C. chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), presented S.C. Honors College Dean Dr. Davis Baird with an official plaque on the lawn of the honors college residence hall, which opened last August.

“We applaud the University of South Carolina for its continued commitment to sustainability,” Boltinhouse said. “It is good to see that a major organization like a university is really out there promoting sustainability. That, in and of itself, educates a lot of people on what being green and what being sustainable is about. The thousands of students who come through the university are going out there with these ideas and planting them in the workforce so that this next generation has the background knowledge to be more sustainable.”

Boltinhouse said the USGBC is working to produce more responsible, healthier and better places to live. Its LEED certification program is the nationally accepted standard for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. There are four LEED certification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

In addition to Boltinhouse and Baird, speakers included Michael Koman, the university’s director of sustainability, and Rohail Rashid Kazi, hall government president for Honors Residence and a sophomore biology-chemistry major from Greenville.

Koman said the LEED Gold rating sets 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,” Koman said. “Today we celebrate the certification of our greenest building to date on campus. It is part of a larger campus movement and commitment that is being led by our students to make Carolina more sustainable, but to also make South Carolina a better, healthier and financially rewarding place to live.”

Honors Residence is the second building on campus to have a LEED designation. Green (West) Quad, which opened in 2004, was awarded a LEED Silver rating in 2005.

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: For more information on the USGBC LEED certification, go to the Web site:


  • What: USC's highest rating, as judged by LEED, the national standard setter in environmentally sound construction and design

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 04/22/10 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 04/29/10 @ 8:51 AM | Permalink