Agricultural Sciences Building at Utah State University Earns LEED® Gold Certification
(April 25, 2013) - The new HDR-designed Agricultural Sciences Building (AGRS) at Utah State University College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences earned LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 121,000 square-foot building is located on the east end of the iconic Logan campus facing the historic quad. The building includes research and teaching laboratories, classrooms, and artfully-designed collaboration spaces.
USU Facilities Sustainability Coordinator Alexi Lamm explains the University's commitment to sustainability, "Achieving LEED Gold on the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences building is an indicator of the university's priority on environmental responsibility and the health and comfort of building occupants. Additionally, pursuing LEED certification is pushing us to think about the lifecycle of the building and what other ways we can improve operations at the university."
AGRS achieved 66 credit points to earn LEED Gold certification. A significant part of the total points achieved is from the energy conservation measures incorporated into the building that reduce energy usage by over 35 percent, compared to a basic code-compliant laboratory building. Some of these include:
- Horizontal sunshades placed on the south face of the building reduce solar heat gain.
- Photovoltaic panels in the solar shades produce renewable energy on site.
- Operable windows in the offices provide occupant comfort and natural ventilation.
- Exterior glazing, a central atrium and skylight bring natural light into the building core.
- Mechanical and electrical systems improve energy efficiency.
Site development also played a large part in the LEED Gold rating, with the team implementing strategies to control and treat 100 percent of the stormwater on site, reduce on-site parking, and incorporate enough open space to earn an exemplary performance LEED credit. The landscaping was designed to reduce outdoor water usage by over 55 percent. Other notable sustainable features include:
- Water conservation. Plumbing fixtures reduce indoor water use by 34 percent.
- Construction waste management. The contractor diverted 73 percent of the construction waste (over 1,488 tons) from the landfill.
- Recycled and regional materials. The building structure, enclosure, and interior include 26.1 percent of recycled materials; 13.4 percent of these are locally-sourced.
- Healthy indoor materials. All of the interior flooring, finishes, and composite wood products contain low VOCs to contribute to a healthy environment.