Honors College and Residences earns LEED Gold certification

Honors College and Residences, located at the corner of Third and Russell Streets, has earned LEED Gold certification. (Photo provided

The Honors College and Residences has achieved LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, fulfilling a goal for sustainability that was set during the facility’s design.

The Honors College will host a celebration of this milestone at 4:30 p.m. Monday (Jan. 29) at Honors Hall in the Honors College and Residences North building. Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend, and the ceremony will include statements from Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity; Rhonda Phillips, dean of the Honors College; Brendan Owens, U.S. Green Building Council chief of engineering; and Michael Gulich, director of Purdue Campus Master Planning and Sustainability. Those in attendance will be welcome to tour the Honors College and Residences as well.

“We are ecstatic to achieve Gold certification from USGBC,” Phillips says. “This certification was a significant focus during the design and building process as we strive to set an example for our students to be global citizens and leaders. Thank you to our colleagues at Purdue, Purdue University and all of our partners for enabling us to pursue and achieve this designation.”

Gulich says: “Achieving LEED Gold certification provides third-party confirmation that our design and construction practices have exceeded national standards for building performance, yielding better comfort for occupants and lower operating costs. We are extremely proud to add another Gold building to our list of certified facilities.”

Environmental and economic sustainability continues to be a point of emphasis with the Honors College and Residences. LEED provides a framework to create both energy-efficient and cost-effective buildings, and is a globally recognized symbol of overall sustainability. In order to achieve Gold certification, buildings must score at least 60 points through LEED project requirements. Honors College and Residences earned 66 LEED points to achieve the second-highest certification level and excelled in the following areas: optimized energy performance, community connectivity, access to public transportation, use of regional materials, water use reduction, indoor air quality and design innovation.

“Based on energy model predictions, Honors College and Residences is expected to be at least 40 percent more energy-efficient than what Indiana energy code requires,” Gulich says.

Approximately $200,000 in annual energy savings are anticipated from the use of high-efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation equipment, among other things. In addition, with highly efficient shower and faucet fixtures installed, nearly 2 million gallons of water will be saved each year compared with code requirements — enough to offset the daily water usage of more than 19,000 people.

Construction of the Honors College and Residences, which encompasses 324,000 gross square feet of space, began in February 2015 and was completed in August 2016. The 18-month construction marked the fastest completion time for a Purdue residence hall. The project was originally approved with a $90 million budget but was completed with a savings of more than $3 million.

The Honors College and Residences joins seven other buildings on campus to achieve LEED certification. Those buildings are Marriott Hall, the Córdova Recreational Sports Center, Third Street Suites, Herrick Laboratories, the Krach Leadership Center, the Gatewood Wing addition to the Mechanical Engineering Building, and Wang Hall. Each of these LEED-certified buildings has achieved Gold status.

More information about LEED can be found on the USGBC website at www.usgbc.org/leed.

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Honors College and Residences earns LEED Gold certification