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Environmental Sciences

Courtyard at Given Earns Gold LEED Certification

Release Date: 08-01-2010

Author: Jennifer Nachbur
Email: Jennifer.Nachbur@uvm.edu
Phone: 802/656-7875 Fax: 802-656-3961

One year after its opening, the University of Vermont's Courtyard at Given has officially joined the growing list of green buildings at UVM, receiving an award of Gold LEED certification for Commercial Interiors from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

UVM established a green building policy in 2005, requiring all new and renovated buildings to reach the equivalent of the basic LEED certification level. After President Fogel signed the Presidential Climate Commitment Challenge in 2007, the policy was revised to state that buildings should achieve the equivalent of the LEED Silver level. UVM's LEED-certified buildings include the Davis Center, University Heights Residential Learning Complex and the Carrigan Wing addition to Marsh Life Sciences.

The LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — Green Building Rating System, considered a standard measure of energy and environmental design, was first published in 1999. Certification is awarded, in ascending order, at the Certificate, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. According to USGBC, the LEED for Commercial Interiors Rating System is applicable to tenant improvements of new or existing office space.

Launched in June 2008 and completed in July 2009, the Courtyard at Given project involved 35,000 square feet of construction in the College of Medicine and features plentiful natural day lighting, lighting with infrared and motion occupancy sensors for energy efficiency, a raised floor air system that reduces energy use, and Greenguard Environmental Institute-certified fabric-covered demountable, moveable partitions, among other heralded design elements. In February 2010, the project and architect Black River Design earned a Best of the Best Award for Commercial Building Design & Construction from Efficiency Vermont, an organization created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and protect the state's environment.

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