Southwest Environment

Stories written by University of Arizona students

Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science
The Stories

Rec gains points for energy performance, other innovations

By Nicholas Rossi

As the U.S. Green Building Council considers awarding a project LEED certification, the final decision is based upon the recognition of the desired performance goals that have been achieved in each category. It is divided into six environmental categories defined by LEED, which are listed below. This rating system was designed to promote and aid in the development of more sustainable buildings.

“LEED has been recognized as a design process that in theory, produces buildings that conserve resources, reduce operating costs and pollution, help address global warming, improve marketability and durability, preserve the ozone layer, protect occupant health and improve worker productivity,” states Stephen Wheeler in the 2009 book The Sustainable Urban Development Reader.  LEED can lead by example regarding what is to be expected of future development in consideration of the environment.

According to the USGBC final report for the University of Arizona Student Recreation Center, the Rec achieved the LEED Platinum rating with 56 points. The points were distributed in the six categories as described below.

For those who wish to minimize their carbon footprint by driving hybrid or eco-friendly vehicles, the Rec has been credited one point for providing 16 parking spaces for fuel-efficient vehicles.     

Three points were awarded for the use of energy generated from solar panels located on the upper level of the Second Street Parking Garage, while 10 related to efforts to optimize energy performance.

Recycled Content received 2 points and Regional Materials received 1 point with this note:
Building materials that have been applied to the renovation of the Rec have been extracted, harvested or recovered, and manufactured within 500 miles of the UA.         

These six categories together produced 56 points. The expansion of the Rec exceeded the minimum official platinum score of 52. These credits have been based upon the ambitions set forth from the initial stages of planning to the verification process, awarding the UA Rec LEED Platinum.

RELATED LINKS

UA’s rec center expansion LEED(s) the way in sustainable innovations

U.S. Green Building Council final report for the UA Student Recreation Center

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