Focusing on green buildings can have a huge impact towards making Washington University in St. Louis’ campus more sustainable.
The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) research suggests that buildings across the country account for approximately 12 percent of all water use, 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, 65 percent of all waste output and 70 percent of electricity consumption.
Washington University has a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Silver minimum requirement for all new construction and major renovation. The LEED rating system promotes sustainability in six areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process. LEED ratings are issued by the USGBC. LEED certification levels, from lowest to highest, are certified, silver, gold and platinum. WashU is currently home to twenty LEED certified projects, totaling over 1.8 million square feet, including one LEED Platinum and nine LEED Gold projects.
The Tyson Living Learning Center is one of the first two buildings in the world to achieve Living Building Challenge certification, the world’s most rigorous green building standard. The Living Building Challenge was developed in 2006 by the International Living Future Institute. In order to gain certification, the Living Learning Center (LLC) had to operate at net zero energy consumption and net zero water consumption. To accomplish this, the LLC was designed to produce its energy on-site from solar photovoltaic panels and to capture and filter all of the water used in the building from rain water that lands on the roof. Learn more about the LLC’s road to net zero energy consumption in the The Source.
The LLC is a 2,900-square-foot facility that houses a computer lab, classrooms and administrative offices for the Tyson ecological research station. It is located 20 miles southwest of WashU’s Danforth Campus and contains 2,000 acres of woods, prairie, ponds and savannas for faculty and students to conduct environmental research. Photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof and two solar trackers adjacent to the building provide energy. Rainwater is stored in a 3,000 gallon underground cistern. The building itself is largely made from local materials. For example, the siding of the center was provided by eastern red cedars, removed from less than two miles away because of a habitat restoration.
LEED Certified Buildings
Washington University is home to 21 LEED certified projects on the Danforth and School of Medicine campuses. A leader in green construction, Washington University committed in 2008 to meet or exceed LEED Silver certification for all new construction or major renovations. WashU currently has 2 Platinum projects, 9 Gold projects, 7 Silver projects and 3 Certified projects, totaling over 1.8 million square feet.
Hillman Hall received LEED Platinum certification in 2015, and its design integrates highly efficient heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, as well as a large rain garden, green roof, and abundant native plantings. Hillman Hall is the university’s second LEED Platinum project and the first on the Danforth Campus. It is also the first academic building to receive the distinction. Learn more about Hillman Hall in the Source.
The Lofts of Washington University
The Lofts of Washington University, an $80 million residential and retail project, was awarded LEED Platinum certification in 2014 and is the university’s first LEED Platinum project. Designed to be 46 percent more efficient than standard construction, the student apartment and retail complex was designed to minimize impact on the environment while creating healthy spaces for people. Solar thermal panels heat 25 percent of the building’s domestic hot water; solar photovoltaic cells provide 10 percent of the electrical needs; rain gardens treat storm water; and the building’s signature aluminum sunshades serve as both a bold design element and an effective tool to keep apartments comfortable. The Lofts is a 206,000 sq. ft. set of buildings. Learn more about the Loft’s certification on The Source.
Knight Hall and Bauer Hall
The Olin Business School celebrated the opening of Knight Hall and Bauer Hall in spring 2014. Knight and Bauer Halls are joined by a breath-taking three-story atrium that rises above the open space at the center called the Frick Forum. The defining feature of the buildings is the use of natural light that penetrates all five floors. Knight and Bauer Hall are a combined 175,000 sq. ft. Learn more about Knight and Bauer Hall’s certification, including a video highlighting its green design features, on The Source.
BJC Institute of Health
The BJC Institute of Health (BJCIH) on the School of Medicine Campus is LEED gold certified and features a flexible floor plan that allows for efficient transitions when uses change in the building. It is the first project that WashU certified using the LEED Core and Shell certification. The adjacent Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza, designed by renowned artist and designer Maya Lin, is a stunning green roof, featuring a reflecting pool and native Missouri plants. BJCIH is primarily a laboratory building developed through a partnership of BJC HealthCare and the Washington University School of Medicine. It totals 680,000 sq. ft. Learn more about the BJCIH on the School of Medicine’s website and learn about the building’s dedication in The Source.
McMillan Hall Addition
McMillan Hall is one of WashU’s oldest and most revered buildings. When it came time to add lab and classroom space, the project had to proceed with reverence for McMillan Hall’s historic character. The result is a high-performance addition that blends perfectly into the hillside on which McMillan Hall sits. There is a green roof on the addition which includes garden space cultivated by faculty and students from the Department of Anthropology to teach and learn about plants and ethnobotany. Learn more about the McMillan Addition in The Source.
Preston M. Green Hall
Green Hall received LEED gold certification from the USGBC in 2012. Green Hall is a very important 70,000 sq. ft. building that anchors the northeast corner of the Danforth Campus. Sustainable design features include low water-use plumbing fixtures, irrigation provided by rainwater captured in a large cistern, insulation made out of recycled blue jeans and a high percentage of locally sourced materials. Learn more about Green Hall on the School of Engineering & Applied Science website.
Stephen F. & Camilla T. Brauer Hall
A LEED Gold certified building, Brauer Hall is home to 151,000 sq. ft. of labs, offices and classroom space for the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering. The roof includes both a solar photovoltaic array to generate a portion of the building’s electricity and a solar thermal array that provides domestic hot water. Learn more about Brauer Hall on the WashU website.
Genome Sequencing Data Center
The Genome Center’s new data facility received LEED Gold certification. The designation makes it the first LEED Gold-certified building on the School of Medicine Campus and the only data center in the St. Louis region to attain LEED Gold status. Learn more about the data facility’s certification on The Source.
Buildings on the South 40
A number of the residential buildings on the South 40 have been LEED certified. South 40 House Phase 1 is certified silver, and South 40 Phase 2 is certified gold. College Hall and Eliot B are certified gold. Umrath House and the Village East are certified silver. All three buildings are located on the South 40 area of campus and opened in the summer of 2010. Learn more about the certification of the South 40 buildings on The Source.
Harry and Susan Seigle Hall
Seigle Hall is a LEED certified building located at the western edge of Mudd Field, a large green in the center of the Danforth Campus. Seigle Hall was designed to minimize water usage and conserve energy. It was dedicated in the fall of 2008 as the fourth LEED certified WashU project, adding 146,000 sq. ft. of classroom and office space. Learn more about Seigle Hall on the WashU website.
Adolphus Busch Hall
One of the oldest buildings on campus with its cornerstone laid in 1900, Busch Hall was renovated in 2008. The renovation received a LEED silver certification. Learn more about Adolphus Busch Hall on the WashU website.
Family Learning Center
The Family Learning Center, which provides care for the children of faculty, staff and students, is LEED gold certified. Read about the opening of the Family Learning Center in The Source.
Danforth University Center
The Danforth University Center (known as the DUC) was the second LEED building on campus and the first to achieve gold certification. Sustainable features of the DUC include low-flow water systems, substantial use of daylighting, low-energy usage lighting, local and regional material, and access to transit as well as bicycle shower facilities. To learn more about the DUC’s certification, please visit The Source. To explore what the DUC offers, please visit the DUC website.
Scott Rudolph Hall
LEED certified in 2005, Scott Rudolph Hall was the first LEED certified building at the university and the second in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. The building features an energy-efficient HVAC system, day-lighting to minimize electric usage, and use of native plantings throughout the site. To learn more about Scott Rudolph Hall, please visit the WashU website, and to learn more about the building’s opening, please visit The Source.