UALR announced that its George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT) Building has received LEED® gold certification status from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The six-story building, which opened last fall, is the first LEED gold facility in the University of Arkansas System.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nationally accepted program for benchmarks in design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. Gold certification is the second highest level of certification.
“Consistent sustainability practices are necessary for our future as a campus, a state, and as a nation,” said UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson.
“This LEED certification demonstrates UALR’s commitment to sustainable facilities and practices. It is our priority to achieve the very important objective of being a responsible steward of the physical resources on campus, as set forth in UALR’s strategic plan.”
Dave Millay, UALR associate vice chancellor for facilities management, said numerous sustainability technologies incorporated into the building contributed to achieving the gold certification, including:
- Maximized open space around the building.
- The use of a high-efficiency filtration system and individual thermal controls to improve the health and well-being of occupants and visitors.
- A roof with a high solar reflectance index, a measure of its ability to reflect the sunlight off the building, rather than absorbing it.
- Numerous windows, which provide natural light and regulate temperature.
- Efficient fixtures such as sensor faucets and dual-flush toilets to reduce UALR’s water consumption.
- More than 20 percent of the materials used were manufactured by businesses within 500 miles of UALR, decreasing the amount of energy expended to transport the materials to the site.
- At least 20 percent of the materials used include post-consumer and post-industrial recycled content.
- More than 95 percent of the total construction waste from the building process was diverted from landfills.
- A heating and air conditioning system that utilizes two energy recovery wheels, which use the building’s conditioned air to pre-cool air in the summer and pre-heat air in the winter.
- Paints, sealants and adhesives that are low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) were used, reducing indoor air pollution.
- To promote use of alternative transportation, the project included easy access to bike racks, nearby showering and changing facilities and designated parking spaces near the building for alternatively fueled cars.
The projected energy savings is $34,675 annually as compared to costs that would have been incurred if the structure were merely built to code.
Key partners in the sustainable design and green construction of the 114,000-square-foot EIT facility were Cromwell Architects Engineers, Nabholz Construction, and TME, Inc. The building includes 4,000 square feet of server rooms, 16 classrooms, a 215-seat auditorium, 60 faculty offices and a dean’s suite, a student lounge, full-service cafe, and graduate research spaces.
Millay said UALR is targeting LEED certification for all new construction projects – including the three facilities under way: a new student residence hall, the Student Services One-Stop Center, and the Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Science.