Loading Intelligent Building System Energy Dashboard, please wait...
Once certification is officially received from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Griffin Hall will represent NKU’s first LEED-certified building on campus. LEED Silver served as the consistent certification target throughout design and construction, and this target will remain NKU’s minimum certification goal for all future capital building projects. As of October 2011, the USGBC is currently reviewing NKU’s “Design Submission” towards LEED Silver Certification. Please see the NKU GH LEED credits workplan to review a sample LEED credit work plan score card utilized through the design and construction process.
Griffin Hall chose to employ tested and proven technologies towards LEED certification, and strived to make cognizant, sustainable decisions throughout the design process. Examples of such decisions include occupancy & daylight lighting control sensors and sensor-operated restroom faucets, urinals, and toilets. NKU also decided to install a green roof above the Informatics Commons space and the bank of four classrooms closest to the Student Union, and this green roof covers approximately 23% of the total building roof area. Although the green roof does not qualify for a LEED point by itself, it does promote sustainability by “consuming/reusing” rain water rather than diverting runoff to the storm sewer system. The green roof also helps reduce sunlight heat transmission into the spaces below, which helps reduce energy consumption for cooling.
The inherent nature of buildings and facilities on a college campus results in significant energy consumption. With buildings and facilities of all ages and construction types, NKU’s continuing challenge is reviewing and identifying opportunities for upgrades and improvements resulting in real energy savings. NKU’s early signing of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) clearly demonstrates NKU’s excitement and determination in the constant effort towards improving campus sustainability. For at least 20 years, NKU has consistently attempted to incorporate energy efficient strategies in its building projects. In the last five year however, NKU has collectively increased the institution’s focus on sustainability, both in the short term and the long term. The Griffin Hall project simply provided the opportunity for NKU to officially quantify and document many of the normal sustainable design decisions made on previous projects.
NKU’s overall focus on sustainability is to always reduce campus energy consumption, minimize the campus carbon footprint, and become better stewards of the environment. Obviously, the publicity of various “green” initiatives, programs, campaigns, LEED certification, etc. is nice, but at the end of the day, none of these efforts really make a difference if NKU does not reduce energy consumption. Every decision needs to consider and directly address energy efficiency and consumption reduction as the true target, and not just a plaque on the wall with a LEED certification.