William & Mary’s School of Education has received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED green building certification system offers an opportunity for builders and building owners to measure the sustainability efforts included in the design, operation and maintenance of newly constructed or renovated buildings. Gold is the second-highest rating a building can receive.
“As a school of education, it’s especially appropriate for us to model sustainability in building design and operation,” said Virginia McLaughlin, dean of the School of Education. “The Gold Certification will help raise awareness among our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the many others who use this facility.”
The School of Education, which was completed in 2010, achieved LEED certification for 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.
“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, the William & Mary School of Education is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”
LEED certification of the School of Education was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:
Reduces potable water usage by 30.5 percent as compared to a typical similar sized building.
Uses 20.8 percent less energy as compared to a similar sized building.
Recycled over 90 percent of demolition material debris from the demolition of the former Williamsburg Community Hospital.
160 percent of the storm water is treated for quality.
The School of Education is the third building at William & Mary to receive LEED Gold certification. Alan B. Miller Hall and the Cohen Career Center have also been certified as LEED Gold. Several other buildings have also received LEED certification, including the Jamestown Dorms.
“Our success in this area is a tribute to the cooperation among project manager Joe Martinez and the facilities management staff, the faculty, staff and students that teach, work and learn in these buildings, and our architects and contractors,” said Anna Martin, vice president for administration. “It is the commitment to the principles of sustainability by all involved that moves us forward.”
This latest certification is yet another acknowledgement of William & Mary’s dedication to environmental sustainability. In 2007, William & Mary’s students voted to pay an annual $30 fee to support sustainability projects and research at the University. The fee generates more than $200,000 each year for green projects and research, administered by the University’s Committee on Sustainability. Recently, the University announced that it will be offering an in-house carbon-offset program, which will allow individuals and institutions an opportunity to offset their carbon-producing actions by contributing money to carbon-reducing projects.
The University’s green efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2010, the College received a “green rating” of 93 by the Princeton Review. Additionally, William & Mary received a “B+” on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card, issued by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.