In the new Academic Center (ACE) building, the toilets in the restrooms are flushed using residual rainwater from the roof and air conditioning condensate, while special carbon dioxide room sensors adjust the room temperature accordingly. These are just a couple of the environmentally-friendly features in ACE that allowed for a Gold LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system developed by the USGBC. LEED advocates sustainable building and development methods through a series of rating systems that recognize projects that apply strategies for better environmental and health solutions.
According to the USGBC website, the LEED rating systems are “developed through an open, consensus-based process led by LEED committees, diverse groups of volunteers representing a cross-section of the building and construction industry.” Key elements of the process include a” balanced and transparent committee structure, technical advisory groups that ensure scientific consistency and rigor, opportunities for stakeholder comment and review, member ballot of new rating systems, and fair and open appeals.”
The USGBC awards points based on sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design. More than 85 percent of the construction site’s debris was recycled, and other features include pavers and high-reflective roofing materials to reflect sunshine, high-efficiency windows that let in natural light and specially-designed tanks built under the adjoining Koski Plaza to collect storm water.