ATHENS — The recently completed Phase II construction and renovation work at Ohio University’s Schoonover Center for Communication, which houses the five schools of the Scripps College of Communication, has been awarded LEED Gold certification.
The project is Ohio University’s first LEED Gold certified.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system that is gaining momentum within institutions of higher education, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Ohio University Sustainability Plan requires minimum LEED Silver certification for all building and renovation projects budgeted at or above $2 million, according to Greg Robertson, associate vice president for architecture, design and construction.
“We are thrilled that the Schoonover Center Phase II Project has achieved LEED Gold certification, a higher certification level that is a first for our campus,” Robertson said.
EED standards were created to improve performance across all areas of green building: energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and use of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
“Schoonover’s LEED Gold certification should be a point of pride for Dean Titsworth and the College of Communication,” said Sam Crowl, project coordinator in the Office of Sustainability. “Students, faculty and staff should be pleased that they are able to work and study in a building that will use more than 40 percent less water and more than 20 percent less lighting power and that has been renovated to provide occupants with a healthier indoor environment through the careful selection of construction materials. The Office of Architecture, Design and Construction and the University community should be very proud of this project.”
More than 30 percent of the project’s materials also contained recycled content, almost 50 percent of materials were manufactured in the region and the project diverted more than 75 percent of construction waste from going to a landfill.
According to the USGBC website, the LEED certification process provides a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions to business owners, operators and, increasingly, to higher education.
“Architecture, Design and Construction is pleased to be able to implement the first LEED Gold certified project on Ohio University’s Athens campus,” said Lynnette Bush Clouse, LEED accredited senior project manager in the Office of Architecture, Design and Construction. “The location of Schoonover allowed us to gain the majority of credits (19 of 21) in the Sustainable Sites section of the LEED Scorecard. The fact that we were able to reuse an existing structure, had over five options for public transportation available, were close to local business and services and added no parking to the site made this possible. This will set a precedent for many of the credits that we can use for future LEED certified projects.”
Several Ohio University offices, including Architecture, Design and Construction; Planning and Space Management; Facilities and the Office of Sustainability, were involved in the project.
“The innovative approaches explored in the Schoonover Phase II project provide a road map for reducing the environmental impact of future projects,” Robertson said. “It is my sincere hope that this will be the first of many LEED Gold certifications for Ohio University.”