Sustainable Buildings on Campus (Part 2)

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 15.55.33Engaging in sustainability and responsible leaders goes beyond the classroom curriculum. It must also be engrained into the business school itself on its campus. A growing number of business schools and universities are not just putting in place strategies to ‘green’ their buildings on campus, but certifying these buildings through different national and international schemes.

There has been a significant rise in a mix of voluntary certification and mandatory requirements for both new buildings and existing constructions that are changing the way University campuses look around the globe. These standards provide guidance on creating more sustainable buildings through a wide range of topics including, but not limited to site selection, energy efficiency and sourcing, materials, construction practices, water efficiency and use, the design of the space and landscaping. In Part 1 we looked at LEED certified campuses (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) across the US. Here in Part 2, we look at a number of Sustainable Buildings around the world.

The John Molson School of Business building at Concordia University in Canada is LEED Silver certified. The 37,000 square metre, 15-storey building incorporates bright atriums, modern classrooms, and several auditoriums and amphitheatres. The low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout the building reduced water consumption by 45%, and a green roof on the fourth floor has a seating area with a garden to promote cultivation projects. The building’s southwest wall is considered the first even ‘solar wall’ in the world with solar panels stretching the length of the wall covering a surface of approximately 300 square metres. The photovoltaic panels will generate up to 25 kW of electricity and 75 kW of heat—that’s enough energy to turn on 1,250 CFL light bulbs, and provide heat for seven Canadian homes throughout the year. The greening project was funded by the NSERC Solar Buildings Research Network, based at Concordia University, which brings together twenty-six Canadian researchers from eleven universities to develop the solar optimised homes and commercial buildings of the future.

CEIBS became the first business school in China to have a LEED Gold certified building. This is thanks to an initiative started in 2007 by a handful of MBA students. Over the years other students continued their work in the initiative, and by 2010 one of the major goals was ensuring that the end result of a planned campus expansion project would be a green building. The building relies heavily on innovative wastewater technology to maintain pools of water that surround the campus. An on site treatment facility converts 180 tonnes of waste water per day and through that the school saves 54,000 tones of potable water each year.

In India the Great Lakes Institute’s 27-acre campus is LEED Platinum certified. It uses natural daylight and maintains further energy efficiency through solar energy and solar water heaters used throughout the building. Rainwater is harvested through percolation ponds and tanks across campus and greywater is produced on campus and reused in different ways such as for lavatories and gardening. An organic herbal garden including native vegetation promotes biodiversity on campus.

Porto Business School in Portugal earned LEED Gold certification on their new facilities in 2014, the first building in Portugal to receive this level of certification. Three artificial lakes that collect rainwater are partly used for lavatories and irrigation. The buildings have efficient air conditioning and lighting systems, and the intensity of the light is automatically adjusted by daylight and space occupancy in a room. A wide variety of recycled and non-toxic materials were used in the construction of the building.

LEED is of course by no means the only green building standard. Many countries have their own standards. The University of Bradford’s ‘The Green’ received the highest rating from BREEAM, a UK design and assessment method for sustainable buildings used internationally. ‘The Green,’ the student accommodation on the university’s main campus, is a ten-block student residential village with 1,026 bedrooms. Hot water is pre-heated by solar thermal panels and food waste is quickly composted on site. Landscaping includes vegetable beds and orchards for students to use—only planted with indigenous plants—as well as beehives. The aim of the building is to promote a sense of community among the students

In Australia, the Green Building Council of Australia awards Green Star certifications. For example, Curtin University received a Green Star rating for their plans to transform 114 hectares of one of their campuses through urban regeneration over a 20-year period that supports an urban economy based on education, business, technology, housing, public transportation, the arts and recreation. Monash University has a number of Green Star certified buildings. One of their buildings has a 1-megawatt co-generation plant that generates electricity and heating for the building and the wider campus, lights with sensors that adjust to daylight levels and occupancy, and basement tanks that hold harvested storm water and rainwater for use in toilet flushing, landscape irrigation and the building’s cooling system. Another building used for low cost student housing features the largest residential solar installation in Australia, as well as greywater treatment onsite, which is stored along with rainwater, for flushing, washing machines and irrigation.

The Australian Catholic University also has a Green Star building. Here the heating and cooling system is designed to adapt to the natural seasons, weather cycles and the general flow of people in the building. An under floor vent system helps keep the temperature at 21-25 degrees all year round. When the temperature hits 25, cool air flushes through vents integrated into the carpet tiles, and the vents pump warm air out when the temperature drops to 21. Floor to ceiling windows and unusually high ceilings let in enough natural light that artificial light is rarely needed.

The Green Building Council of South Africa also has a Green Star system similar to Australia. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School’s new building is the first in South Africa to receive a green design rating from this programme. Though the school found that doing the certification added up to 20% on initial building costs, they expect to recover those costs over the first year, through efficient lighting, solar energy and water use. The building uses 60% less energy than similar buildings and 75% less water due to low flow fittings.

 

Sustainable Buildings on Campus (Part 1)

Concordia UniversityEngaging in sustainability and responsible leaders goes beyond the classroom curriculum. It must also be engrained into the business school itself on its campus. A growing number of business schools and universities are not just putting in place strategies to ‘green’ their buildings on campus, but certifying these buildings through different national and international schemes. Although several say that this increases the upfront costs of the renovations or building projects, many also say that they recuperate much of that through lower operation costs. At the same time this creates more efficient and interesting buildings that create a sense of community beyond the campus.

There has been a significant rise in a mix of voluntary certification and mandatory requirements for both new buildings and existing constructions that are changing the way University campuses look around the globe. These standards provide guidance on creating more sustainable buildings through a wide range of topics including, but not limited to site selection, energy efficiency and sourcing, materials, construction practices, water efficiency and use, the design of the space and landscaping. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one set of sustainable building standards based in the US. It is a voluntary certification programme that verifies use of sustainability practices in key performance areas including siding selection, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials and indoor air quality, and awards buildings certified, silver, gold or platinum.

Roosevelt University’s 32-storey skyscraper is the ninth largest university building in the world and is LEED Gold certified. Nearly 8,000 square feet of green roof on 5 floors reduces the city’s heat island effect and provides a rooftop vegetable garden. There is an advanced recycling system on every floor that automatically sorts trash and self cleans. A food pulper system uses recycled water and rescues 80% of solid food waste that is then composted and added to the soil at the campus community garden. The building has plenty of indoor bike parking, as well as easy access to showers for riders. The carpets throughout the buildings are made from 60% recycled plastic containers and even the façade of the building is built with ‘visual noise’ to protect birds from colliding with the reflective surface.

These certifications don’t only apply to new buildings but to renovated older buildings as well. Thunderbird School of Management’s home, a renovated World War II-era building that served as an air traffic control tower, has LEED Silver certification. The tower has an energy efficient roof and windows, water efficient plumbing fixtures, maximised daylight and minimised construction waste. Select furniture was made from recycled or reclaimed materials, and the ceilings were constructed with materials salvaged during the renovations.

The University of California Berkeley campus currently has fourteen LEED certified building projects and 6 more underway, representing over 10% of the total square footage of the campus. Major projects are designed to achieve Gold certification, and required at a minimum to achieve Silver. This is part of the university’s overall green building strategy, which includes a no net increase energy goal, meaning the proposed project would not result in an increase in the building’s metered energy. New building and renovation projects are required to outperform local energy codes by at least 30%. The Maximino Martinez Commons building on their campus is powered in part by 10,000 therms of solar water heating.

The University of California Santa Cruz Student Health Centre building has received Gold certification—the project was started by a student of environmental studies and economics, who graduated in 2009. The entire $17 million project was funded by students through several bond measures and an agreement to a new compulsory fee of $5.20 per quarter per student. Among the changes were waterless urinals and more efficient flush toilets, planter boxes to capture storm water, reinforced turf instead of pavement in a turnaround area for service vehicles, recycled and other green building materials, and the use of FSC certified wood.

Maharishi University of Management’s Sustainable Living Centre is a carbon neutral building, creating more energy than it uses. Rooms are designed to harness the different qualities of sunlight at different times of the day to support different types of activity. The building is completely off the grid and has a wind tower and solar voltaic arrays with a power capacity of 20kW. Some months the building generates twice as much energy as it needs, and the excess is used to power other buildings across campus. It obtained the highest LEED certification level, Platinum. The website for the building allows anyone interested to see in real time the amount of energy being used and generated by the building.

A growing number of schools are putting in place green building standards for all new buildings on campus. All new buildings at Fordham University School of Business are being designed to achieve LEED Silver rating, ensuring that all new properties are environmentally responsible. They have been exceeding this goal in some construction, achieving the LEED Gold standard where possible. Bentley University has also established a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least LEED Silver or beyond.

Does your campus have a green building policy? Are your buildings certified by a national or international scheme? Share your stories in the comments below.

 

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