University building achieves LEED certification

January 21, 2013

Montana State University recently announced some positive news – the newly renovated Cooley Laboratory became the first structure recognized at the organized with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. The school’s website claims that the building, which is intended to house biomedical research, was awarded the recognition by the U.S. Green Building Council for energy efficiency and construction.

The structure officially opened in October 2012 and is the second building to achieve LEED certification. According to the university, Gaines Hall was the first building on the MSU campus to achieve recognition from the USGBC when it was certified silver in 2011. Educational facilities across the United States are dedicating efforts to reducing their carbonfootprints by installing and building new structures with the latest in energy efficient technologies and materials.

“Earning a LEED Gold underscores tremendous determination on the part of our design and construction teams,” said Cecilia Vaniman, MSU’s project manager for Cooley Laboratory, according to the university. “The building has been designed, constructed, tested and verified as to the efficient use the natural resources to build the project, as well as to maintain and operate the building far into the future.”

The building features a number of different sustainability technologies that decrease energy use, conserve water and reuse and recycle materials. By reusing the existing building and a construction waste management company, the university was able to reduce construction waste by more than 1 million pounds.

“This certification is a public statement about that commitment to sustainability,” Paula Lutz, professor of cell biology and neuroscience, told the source. “We’ve built something special for this campus, and it will be a centerpiece for the cutting-edge research MSU is known for. And, we’ve done it in an environmentally sound way, which is something the people of this state should expect.”

Other projects across the United States are looking to promote sustainability. For example, the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) provides developers in the greater Philadelphia area direction on best sustainability practices. Like the MSU project, many Pennsylvania-based education institutions are looking to increase sustainability now and for the future. The agency was established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and members intend to work with commercial enterprises to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and promote regional economic growth.