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Three historic Virginia Tech academic buildings awarded LEED certifications

Virginia Tech
(© Andriy Blokhin – stock.adobe.com)

Three of Virginia Tech’s historic buildings surrounding the Drillfield — Davidson HallSandy Hall, and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building — have been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Davidson Hall earned a Silver certification. Both Sandy Hall and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building received a Certified LEED rating.

For a project to earn a LEED rating – Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum – points are awarded by identified aspects of green buildings. The used criteria are updated approximately every four years to reflect updates to building code standards and market trends.

Davidson Hall, Sandy Hall, and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building were evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Sustainable sites
  • Water efficiency
  • Energy and atmosphere
  • Materials and resources
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Innovation
  • Regional priority

The categories are updated approximately every four years to reflect updates to building code standards and market trends.

To finalize their LEED certification application, each building’s utilities and operations, such as their HVAC systems, were tested in extreme seasons including summer and winter.

The three early 20th century buildings, which included the university’s first structure made of Hokie Stone, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building, underwent capital renovations to improve their functionality, address maintenance issues, and reduce space deficiencies. Environmentally friendly upgrades to the buildings included energy-efficient HVAC systems and windows and water-efficient plumbing. The building materials were also secured through sustainable procurement practices.

The three buildings join 18 other LEED certified buildings on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus.

Obtaining LEED certification for all capital renovation and new construction projects is among the many ways Virginia Tech is striving to enhance energy efficiency, improve the health of the built campus environment, and reduce environmental impact of university buildings.

These efforts will be critical in striving toward a carbon-neutral Virginia Tech campus by 2030, a key 2020 Climate Action Commitment tenet.

Authorized originally in 2009, the Climate Action Commitment provides a Virginia Tech-specific, actionable framework for advancing sustainability and energy efficiency in campus operations, academics, research, and more.

Learn more about Virginia Tech’s LEED certification and green building initiatives.

 


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