College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences Building earns LEED Gold status
Radford University's College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) building has been granted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status, marking another achievement in the university's sustainability initiatives.
The CHBS building joins Radford’s Kyle, Madison, Jefferson and Moffett halls, as well as the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, as campus buildings that have achieved LEED Gold status.
The CHBS building is Radford's sixth overall and third new construction building to merit LEED Gold. Kyle Hall achieved the status in 2014, and Moffett Hall was recognized in 2013. Madison and Jefferson were granted LEED Gold status following renovations completed in 2011.
“Worldwide, buildings use about 40 percent of global energy and they are certainly the primary user of energy at Radford University. Yet, they also provide a tremendous opportunity for conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Radford University Sustainability Manager Josh Nease. “By creating these efficient and healthy structures on our campus, the university saves money and energy throughout the life of the building while reducing the associated carbon emissions.”
Radford University’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory revealed that since 2010, campus building square footage has increased about 18.5 percent while overall greenhouse gas emissions have increased only about 1.3 percent.
“Our Facilities Management team is committed to conserving energy and water and to providing students, faculty and staff with a safe and healthy campus,” Nease said. “This statistic, along with our list of LEED Gold buildings, serves as a testament to this.”
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 CHBS building earned 60 points in the credit categories. A building must score at least 60 points to achieve LEED Gold status.
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 143,600 square-foot CHBS building opened in September 2016 and features a 90-seat tiered classroom, multiple collaborative learning spaces for student use, office space and the college’s Advising Center. It features a mock trial/moot courtroom, social media watch center, TV studio, forensic laboratory, and the Emergency Management Center.
The building is constructed with materials containing 20 percent recycled content, 23 percent of which were developed locally. Ninety-nine percent of the facility’s wood products are Forest Stewardship certified. Water usage in the building is reduced through low-flow toilets, sinks and showers, creating an annual savings of about 221,000 gallons per year. There is exterior shading for reduced solar heat gain.
“We're so pleased and proud our new building has earned LEED Gold status, as it demonstrates that a building can be stunningly beautiful, functionally efficient and also friendly to our environment, CHBS Dean Katherine Hawkins said.