Back in 2013, Cougar Woods Dining Hall was the first campus building to be certified as LEED Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building’s use of natural lighting, 20% water use reduction, and 30% energy reduction, all illustrate just how impactful even a silver certification can be for campus sustainability metrics. Today, however, this level of certification is campus standard.
University Architect, Jim Taylor, is proud to point out that section 7.0 of the university design guidelines is specifically for Sustainable Design following LEED Silver standards. He went on to explain that there are presently five campus construction projects in the pipeline to be LEED Silver Certified upon completion, including the new medical school. Each one of these buildings will be held to strict performance standards in energy and water use, require robust recycling amenities, and even have better indoor air quality than other buildings.
The adopting of these guidelines ensures that all new construction within UH will be an advancement in University efficiency and innovation. Turning to UH Downtown (UHD), their new College of Science and Technology Building was actually designed to LEED Gold parameters to take these efforts a step further.
“Our new Lab Spaces are now totally off the grid. They run on solar during the day and battery at night.” Explained Timothy P. Rychlec, Assistant Vice President UHD Facilities Management Department. He also explained that the building is able to recapture cistern condensation to water for use in landscaping watering.
These kinds of innovations and reduction of consumption can be expected to accelerate as UH brings more LEED buildings online. Furthermore, every purchase involved in building the structures helps push the market towards more sustainable materials and practices, a key mission of the Green Building Council.
To learn more about system LEED projects and accomplishments, please reach out to University Sustainability Coordinator Gabriel Durham at the contact info below.