According to the Wikipedia, “the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.”
Carleton is going for LEED Gold for its new residence halls (center and right photos), due to be completed next fall.
St. Olaf’s Assistant Vice President for Facilities Pete Sandberg has a Regents Countdown blog, and his Aug. 14 post titled Green has a great explanation of green building concepts.
We need to remember right at the start that buildings really don’t use energy, the people and their programs use energy. If the program can require less energy, the building will instantly perform better. Maybe the most important green element of Regents Hall then is the commitment of St. Olaf chemistry to a move to mostly water based reactions – known as, what else? Green chemistry.
Because the building does have laboratories, and also because all of the air that is used to ventilate labs must then be exhausted from the building, it is possible to have a science building that is a huge energy hog…