Worthy of Gold02.26.2014 | Research, Engineering, Campus and Community, Energy and Environment
The U.S. Green Building Council has officially issued Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification to the GE Aviation Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center on the University of Dayton campus. The EPISCenter is the University's first LEED-certified building.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification provides independent verification a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Much of the construction material in the EPISCenter is recycled. The adhesives, paints, flooring and wood materials used are classified as low-emitting materials, or not giving off many pollutants. More than 90 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills. The EPISCenter is close to bus lines and a bicycle path to encourage employees to use environmentally friendly alternatives to driving to work. Landscaping is water-efficient and the plumbing system is designed to reduce water consumption by 40 percent.
This is the second rating recognizing the University's sustainability efforts this month. The University of Dayton also earned a STARS silver rating in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) for its sustainability achievements. STARS measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The University earned positive marks for its curricular education, innovation, grounds, coordination and planning, diversity and affordability, and sustainability policies in human resources, such as employee wellness programs and options for socially responsible investing in retirement.
"Sustainability isn't just a trend or 'fad' on this campus; it is undeniably part of our mission," University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran said. "As a Marianist Catholic institution, the values of Catholic social teaching are infused throughout life at our University. As such, we feel a calling to develop solutions that will make us better stewards of God's creation, and to share those solutions with others to create a more peaceful and just world."
Last year, Curran signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, committing the University to being carbon neutral. The University is updating an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and will develop a plan to become carbon neutral by 2050. The University also joined a regional initiative to build a culture of sustainability in the Dayton community and reduce the region's carbon footprint through energy efficiency.
Those University-wide commitments are part of the University's sustainability initiatives, which also have included: providing report cards to students showing energy use, diverting more than 1,000 tons of recyclable and compost material from landfills annually, reducing natural gas and electric energy use, and building five new houses in the student neighborhoods that the National Association of Homebuilders certified as green buildings under the national standards.
The University reduced energy use by upgrading lighting systems, removing lights without compromising brightness, installing occupancy sensors, closing buildings rarely used during the summer, and programming thermostats and heating and cooling systems to optimize savings.
Honors for sustainability are common for the University. It also is on The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges.
Find more information about the University of Dayton's sustainability efforts on the Learn. Lead. ConServe. website in the related links.