University Dedicates its First LEED-Certified Building

March 16, 2010 — The University of Virginia’s first LEED-certified building was dedicated Monday.

The building, a 15,000-square-foot addition to the Printing and Copying Services building at 2474 Old Ivy Road, received a silver-level ranking – the third-highest designation in the system of rating buildings for their environmental responsibility. It is the first building on Grounds to be certified since the Board of Visitors declared in 2007 that all future University buildings would meet LEED standards.

The University of Virginia Foundation, which is separate from the University, had previously received a gold certification for its Town Center Three building at the foundation's research park on U.S. 29.

The designation came from the U.S. Green Building Council, which certified that the structure meets its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. Certification is based on several criteria, including water and energy efficiency, use of materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design.

The $3.3 million addition was completed in May 2009 and has been in use ever since. The majority of the addition is open warehouse space, allowing for flexibility and future expansion. The space is used primarily for copy production, mail production and paper and materials storage.

About 30 people, including several University officials and Printing and Copy Center employees, gathered Monday morning for the dedication.

University Architect David Neuman said that while much of the LEED process focuses on energy conservation, it was also a matter of an improved work environment, with better air quality and more natural light.

“There is a lot of work, energy and thought that goes into each building,” he said. “This is the first building that has gone through under the Board of Visitor’s policy, but there are 26 projects going through the process, most of them for silver and gold certifications.”

The Printing and Copying Services building is an addition to the existing building, and Helen Wilson, an architect for the University, said she was fascinated when she found that the original building had been a bowling alley, housing duck-pin lanes. Terrace Bowl operated on Old Ivy Road from 1959 until 1980, when it was sold to the University. Printing and Copying Services moved there in the mid-1980s.

Wilson said it was a team effort to get all the parts in place for the LEED certification. The building's features include regionally produced materials, and materials that emitted low levels of volatile organic compounds.
 
Kelly Hogg, director of Printing and Copying Services, said the new addition has a highly efficient climate control system, a flat roof with a white rubberized surface that improves heating and cooling, skylights to introduce more natural light into the building and insulation. He said that the addition allowed PCS to consolidate three separate supply storage areas into one and to create a more efficient operation.

Neuman said many of the elements involved in LEED certification are common-sensical and U.Va. has been incorporating them into its buildings. Having gone through the process once will help with future certification applications and the University is building several LEED standards into its routine design process.

"There are benefits to having a well-designed campus, from a site perspective, sustainability, bicycle and pedestrian traffic, and stormwater management," Neuman said. "These are worth 15 to 20 points in the certification and we want to standardize them."

There are several buildings under construction on which the University is applying for LEED certification, including the South Lawn Project and Bavaro Hall. The application process and certification review, which begins once the building is occupied, takes several months to complete.

After Monday’s dedication ceremony, Hogg conducted a tour of the facility, pointing out the LEED-related features.

— By Matt Kelly