Radford University's College of Business and Economics (COBE) Building is now the university's fourth LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold building, marking another achievement in RU's sustainability initiatives.
The COBE Building joins RU's Madison, Jefferson and Moffett halls as campus buildings that have achieved LEED Gold status.
COBE is Radford's first new construction building to receive LEED Gold. Madison and Jefferson were granted LEED Gold status following renovations completed in 2011. Moffett received the recognition in 2013.
"Radford University has outlined numerous long-term strategies as part of its Climate Action Plan (CAP), and buildings and energy are a large part of the plan," said RU Sustainability Coordinator Julio Stephens. "As Radford's campus continues to improve and expand, we aim for the buildings to be as sustainable as possible through the USGBC's LEED certification process."
The LEED rating system is comprised of a number of credit categories, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resources, indoor environment quality and innovation and design process. The COBE Building earned 41 points in the credit categories. A building must score at least 39 points to achieve LEED Gold status.
"Obtaining LEED Gold on COBE is a wonderful achievement for Radford University," said RU Capital Project Manager Paul Ely. "This accomplishment took the collective efforts of RU, the architects, engineers and contractors. The LEED team was fueled by RU's persistence to ‘go for gold.' It is refreshing to be a part of a campus which chooses to lead by example."
LEED is a voluntary program that provides verification of green buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council. According to the USGBC, LEED-certified buildings lower operating costs, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste sent to landfills, are healthier for occupants and conserve energy and water.
The COBE Building opened in the fall of 2012 and includes auditorium-style classrooms, conference rooms and gathering spaces designed to stimulate collaboration and teamwork. The building features the latest in educational technology and financial research capabilities, including a trading room.
"LEED Gold status for the COBE Building is a significant achievement for the university and the college," said COBE Dean George Low. "It is also a result of the many hours of hard work by many of our faculty and staff who contributed to the planning and design of this beautiful facility. Sustainability is an important concept that we try to instill in our students as they learn about the changing world of business, and this building is an excellent example of that principal in action."