The new College of Education and Human Services building on the University of North Florida campus has been certified LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold by the U. S. Green Building Council. It is the first building on the UNF campus to achieve this recognition.
“It’s an honor and a privilege for me to be a part of the University’s commitment to be a progressive and an environmentally-conscious institution,” said Zak Ovadia, UNF’s director of Campus Planning, Design and Construction. “Our eco-friendly approach to our construction projects and resulting certifications illustrate the University’s strong role in the stewardship of our natural environment on campus.”
The building consists of approximately 107,000 gross square feet on three floors and is located on the west side of the campus core between the Thomas G. Carpenter Library and the recently completed Student Union Building. Interior spaces include teaching labs, faculty offices, meeting rooms and support spaces. The construction cost for this project was $18 million.
With this latest certification, there are now four buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council on the campus. Currently, Parking Services is the only Silver-certified building; however, two other buildings — Osprey Fountains and the Student Union — are presently going through the certification process and they should achieve the Silver rating.
The Social Sciences building and the Brooks College of Health addition received basic certification. The Social Sciences Building opened in the fall of 2006 as the first LEED-certified facility in Northeast Florida and was the first “green” building on campus.
The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary third-party rating system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. Projects are evaluated within six environmental categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.
The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation’s leading coalition of corporations, builders, universities, federal and local agencies, and nonprofit organizations working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.