The Stephen M. Ross School of Business is among the best in the world for research and education on sustainable enterprise, so it should come as no surprise that the school’s new building is now officially LEED-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington D.C.-based, nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders.
Ross was granted a Silver designation on USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System, earning all 36 points that it attempted across six environmental categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.
The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction — Certified (26-32 points), Silver (33-38 points), Gold (39-51 points) and Platinum (52 or more points).
The Ross School received nine points in the indoor environmental quality category; eight points in sustainable sites; six points in energy and atmosphere; five points in innovation and design process; five points in materials and resources; and three points in water efficiency.
Among the specific areas in which Ross scored well:
• Indoor environmental quality: Air quality management plan during construction and before occupancy of new building; use of low chemical-emitting materials (carpeting, paint); sufficient quantity of lighting and thermal controls.
• Sustainable sites: Stormwater management (28 percent decrease in runoff); alternative transportation (local bus lines, bicycle storage, no new parking spaces); landscape and exterior design (Energy Star-rated roofing material and green roofs reduce heating and cooling costs and improve air quality).
• Energy and atmosphere: Optimal energy performance (25 percent better than standard requirements); green power (purchase of Tradable Renewable Certificates equal to 100 percent of the building’s total annual electric energy usage); use of non-ozone-depleting refrigeration system to cool building.
• Innovation and design process: Use of recycled construction materials, green power and green housekeeping program (environmentally friendly cleaning products).
• Materials and resources: Construction waste management (91 percent of onsite-generated construction waste diverted from landfill); recycled content (44 percent of total building materials).
• Water efficiency: Landscaping irrigation systems reduce potable water consumption by 55 percent; automatic faucets, low-flush toilets, waterless urinals, etc., reduce potable water use by 42 percent.
In the United States and in a number of other countries around the world, LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability and the best way to demonstrate that a building project is truly “green.”
The LEED green building rating system is designed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being.