Coinciding with National Campus Sustainability Day, Radford University has received certification of its recently renovated Jefferson Hall as the first LEED Gold building on campus.
LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—is a voluntary program that provides verification of environmentally friendly construction and remodeling by the U.S. Green Building Council. Gold is the second-highest level of LEED certification, behind platinum and ahead of silver and certified.
According to the USGBC, LEED-certified buildings lower operating costs, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, and are healthier for occupants.
"We are proud of this prestigious acknowledgement of Radford University’s commitment to sustainability," said Chris Willis, assistant vice president and chief facilities officer. "It is a big first step and achievement that we are working diligently to follow up with the certification of other RU buildings."
Other RU buildings being considered for LEED certification are the newly completed College of Business and Economics complex and the renovated Madison and Moffett residence halls. The renovations of Jefferson Hall, completed in fall 2011, included installation of air conditioning, fire protection and sprinkler systems, and upgrading of electrical and plumbing systems.
Built in 1968, Jefferson was renovated using numerous sustainable strategies, such as use of renewable bamboo flooring and responsibly harvested wood as certified by the international Forest Stewardship Council. To maximize water and energy conservation, Jefferson Hall now uses low-flow toilets, sinks and showers. Energy recovery equipment recaptures heat from air before it is exhausted from the building. Water savings are projected to be 493,500 gallons annually, and energy conservation is projected to fall 15 percent due to the building's high-efficiency chiller.
"The new conservation technology incorporated is central to this elite certification," said Julio Stephens, RU sustainability coordinator. "It is important also to note that 90 percent of the construction waste generated in the renovation effort was recycled."
Go to the RU sustainability website to learn more about green initiatives on campus.