From the constant sound of drilling, hammering, and the weird opera music playing throughout the day, it’s pretty apparent that USF will be adding another building to its campus. The John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation will open to students fall of 2013 — but that’s not the most exciting part. This building is designed to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Sustainable Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. This organization began in 1998 and is now used in over 7,000 national projects.
Some key environmental factors of CSI’s design include the use of recycled and renewable building materials, efficient use of natural light and air, solar power collection, non-toxic building materials, water use reduction, and maximal open space just to name a few.
The certification system, which began in 2005, is ranked by a points system that is based on design, construction, and operation based under five categories: water efficiency, sustainable sites, energy and atmosphere, resources and materials, and indoor environmental quality. The highest possible ranking is 100; in order to get Gold certification, the final score must be between 60 and 79 points of those categories.
The highest certification is Platinum, which is extremely difficult to achieve and requires 80 points or higher. Michael E. London, the assistant vice president for facilities management at USF, listed the benefits as “self evident,” stating that this construction will “improve utility conservation, use sustainable materials and methods, and will increase environmental quality.”