Skip to Main Content

Press Release for Thursday, May 29, 2014

UNF Wellness Complex Wins Construction-Design Award for Green Building

Media Contact: Jessica Scott, Public Relations Specialist

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2192

The University of North Florida Wellness Complex is celebrating gold. The Complex was judged as the Building Design and Construction Award of Merit by the United States Green Building Council North Florida Chapter and has achieved a United States Green Building Council Gold rating.


“It’s a pleasure to be able to add to the string of successful green buildings recently introduced to the campus,” said Zak Ovaida, UNF campus planning director. “With the landscaping and nature reserves, this is a nationally-recognized, environmentally-sensitive, people-friendly campus.”


With nearly 27,000 square feet of fitness space, the facility provides a new home for the recreation, health promotions and physical education departments. Throughout the three stories of the facility, the interior architecture enhances the ability of the users to visually experience programs, while supporting a highly social atmosphere where students can see and be seen.


The building design complements the Student Union located across the street, but reflects the different uses and activities inherent in wellness and recreation. The metal panels and brick harmonize with the existing campus fabric, while the large expanses of glass showcase the activities in the building. In response to the Florida climate, a metal sunscreen was added to the façade and adds a distinctive and eye-catching element in the design.


With this recognition, the Complex becomes the third gold-certified building, making it No. 7 in overall LEED certifications for the natural campus. Building 57, Tom and Betty Petway Hall, and Building 58, Student Union, are also certified gold, while Building 52, Parking Services, and Building 55, Osprey Fountains, are certified silver. Building 39A, J.Brooks Brown Hall addition to the Brooks College of Health and Building 51, Social Sciences are LEED certified.


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 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.


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.