Press Release for Tuesday, April 17, 2007

UNF Awarded LEED Green Building Certification

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida has been awarded LEED Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the USGBC’s leading-edge system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, energy efficient, high performing buildings.

“Because UNF is surrounded by nature, it makes sense that we would try to be sensitive to the environment,” said UNF President John A. Delaney. “The certification of the Social Sciences Building sends a message that UNF is environmentally responsible.”

UNF’s three-story Social Sciences Building was designed by Smith McCrary Architects to achieve LEED Certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. LEED verifies environmental performance, occupant health and financial return. LEED was established for market leaders to design and construct buildings that protect and save precious resources while also making good economic sense.

The 63,000-square-foot Social Sciences Building opened in fall of 2006, becoming the first LEED-certified facility in Jacksonville and the first "green" building on campus. LEED represents buildings that reduce storm water run-off, use materials that do less damage to the environment, provide user-friendly recycling stations and reduce energy use. The new building houses the College of Arts and Sciences' departments of sociology, anthropology, psychology, criminal justice, and political sciences and public administration, as well as various labs, several research centers and the dean's office.

“UNF is to be commended for achieving LEED certification. This facility is one that both the community and the University can be proud of,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. “UNF’s Social Sciences Building will be a showcase for high-performance and energy-efficiency as well as an inspiration for others.”

LEED Certification of the University’s Social Sciences Building was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include waterless urinals, natural light, energy efficient heating and mechanical systems, using materials that do less damage to the environment, providing user-friendly recycling stations throughout the building, using reclaimed water for irrigation and providing students, faculty and staff with a comfortable environment.

The LEED™ Green Building Rating System is a voluntary third party rating system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. Projects are evaluated within six environmental categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. The LEED standard has been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies as the industry standard of measurement for green building.

The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation’s leading coalition of corporations, builders, universities, federal and local agencies, and nonprofit organizations working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.