The College of Human Ecology’s addition to Justin Hall has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED certification is the recognized standard for building sustainability and receiving it is the best way to demonstrate that a building project is truly “green,” according to the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) website.
In order to receive this certification, the addition had to meet specific requirements that would have a positive impact on the environment as well as on the people who use the building. The requirements are recorded on a points system, awarded for aspects of design and construction.
It takes between 60 and 79 points to receive the Gold certification, and the Justin Hall extension earned a point total in the mid 60s.
The requirements the addition met were a decreased use of filtered water, at least 20 percent recycled content of building materials, less construction waste and use of building materials that were extracted or manufactured within 500 miles of Manhattan. It also included the lighting sources selected, landscaping and type of energy used in the building.
“I believe it is a great achievement to be able to reach Gold certification. Everyone worked diligently to reach it…it was the plan from the beginning when we first started the project,” Rita Newell, Assistant to the Dean of Human Ecology, said.
The expansion of Justin Hall has two advanced stadium seating classrooms, new workspaces for students and more conference rooms and offices.
“I definitely like it here better than other lecture halls because it is so spacious,” Maddy Randall, sophomore in hotel and restaurant management, said. “It really feels like they had the students in mind when designing it.”
The building was financed by private sources and designed by PGAV Architects in Kansas City.
“PGAV Architects was the primary leader in attaining this certification, because they are LEED certified themselves and understood what needed to be accomplished,” Newell said.
PGAV architects worked closely with Hutton Construction to get the addition built to fit LEED requirements. Hutton Construction had previously been involved in LEED construction as well.
“The whole staff is very appreciative of the donors who were able to make the extension possible,” Mark Haub, Department Head of human nutrition, said.
The addition is the third building at K-State to earn the Gold certification. The other two are the School of Leadership Studies and the Food Services Building at the Jardine Apartment Complex.
According to NRDC, the purpose of the LEED green building rating system is to promote “design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being.”
In addition to being green, the edition is also practical, providing a better student and teacher experience.
“The classrooms are definitely an upgrade…the efficient use of space makes it easier for teachers to interact with students,” Haub said.
Newell said she hopes that building this way can start to be a way of life for K-State because “it shows our contribution to sustainability for students and faculty alike.”