Paolozzi Center wins LEED certification - 2010-09-13
PAUL SMITH’S COLLEGE BUILDING WINS LEED CERTIFICATION
Among the first buildings in the Adirondacks to gain designation
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PAUL SMITHS – A new building at Paul Smith’s College dedicated to the environment has won LEED Silver certification.
The award was given to the Countess Alicia Spaulding-Paolozzi Environmental Science and Education Center. It is one of just a handful of LEED-certified buildings in the Adirondacks.
LEED, established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the nation’s most recognized program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
“As the College of the Adirondacks, it’s important that we take the extra steps necessary to protect the place we call home,” said Dr. John W. Mills, president of Paul Smith’s College. “We want to be a leader when it comes to reducing our environmental footprint, and making sure that what we do today makes sense for tomorrow.”
The LEED certification will be celebrated at the official ribbon-cutting for the building, on Friday, Sept. 17, at noon. Members of the Paolozzi Foundation, which supported the construction of the $2.4 million building with a $1 million grant, will be on campus that day as part of their annual meeting.
The 5,800-square-foot Paolozzi Center opened earlier this year and is home to the college’s Adirondack Watershed Institute, which researches the state of the thousands of rivers, lakes and other waterways in the Adirondacks, and educates the public how to keep them healthy. In addition to a sophisticated water-research laboratory, the building is also used by the college’s Center for Adirondack Biodiversity, and provides offices for the Adirondack Research Consortium.
LEED-certified buildings are recognized for their sustainable use of energy, lighting, water and materials, as well as incorporating other sustainable strategies. Qualifying buildings are verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. The Paolozzi Center, which opened in January, includes several features to maximize its efficiency: geothermal heat loops reduce reliance on traditional heating and cooling methods, for example, and ductless fume hoods eliminate the need to vent laboratory fumes into the atmosphere. A host of other, smaller steps, such as the use of environmentally friendly building materials and low-wattage light bulbs, are also part of the design.
“Building operations are nearly 40 percent of the solution to the global climate change challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, chief executive & founding chairman of USGBC. “While climate change is a global problem, innovative institutions like Paul Smith’s College are addressing it through local solutions.”
More than 32,000 commercial and institutional projects participate in the LEED certification system, comprising over 9.6 billion square feet of space in all 50 states and 114 countries, according to USGBC. The projects save money and resources: According to the USGBC, green buildings consume 26 percent less energy than the average commercial building and cut operating costs by up to 9 percent.
In addition to making a commitment to building environmentally sensitive buildings, Paul Smith’s has taken several other steps to improve sustainability on campus. The college was one of the first to sign onto the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which requires members to eventually become climate-neutral; relies entirely on wind-energy credits for its electricity use; and purchases only Energy Star-related appliances, among several initiatives.
ABOUT PAUL SMITH’S COLLEGE
At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. Our programs, in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences, draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere.