The Center for Health and Molecular Sciences at Southern Utah University recently received LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, affirming its excellence in energy efficiency, sustainability and environmental quality. The Center is the only building in Utah’s southwest region to receive LEED Gold Certification.
The Center was identified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED), an outgrowth of the U.S. Green Building Council, as one of superior design, construction and performance with respect to green and environmentally-conscious objectives.
Opened last fall, the building was carefully designed to include a host of eco-conscious features such as low-flow water systems, innovative LED lighting systems with auto shut-off sensors and metal shades to minimize interior solar impact. Before the outer layer of brick was applied to the exterior, the entire structure was wrapped with an ‘air barrier’ membrane which minimizes air infiltration, keeping the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
A unique feature of the Center is its green roof where a greenhouse hosts many different kinds of plants. These plants capture rain water, reducing wasteful water runoff and helping to keep the building cool.
Sustainability is an area of major focus at SUU, congruent with the University’s core values of community and social responsibility. The Center for Sustainability at SUU promotes education and engagement in sustainable living practices and actively partners with community organizations to foster stewardship of our shared environment. The Center also contributes to the sustainable operation of SUU’s campus.
Developed in 2000, LEED provides criteria to measure the level of environmental efficiency in the operation of green buildings. LEED provides support to building owners and operators by outlining a framework that supports practical and quantifiable solutions and practices in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings.