McGowan Science Building – DePaul University – Chicago, IL

The Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Environmental Science and Chemistry Building at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois received its LEED Gold certification plaque in a rooftop ceremony earlier this week. The 130,000 square foot science building opened earlier this year and features a partially green roof, thermal mass walls, double pane windows, low flow plumbing fixtures, daylight harvesting equipment and much more.

One of the biggest impediments to the green building movement, in my opinion, is the thought that the costs to building green are prohibitive. DePaul University tracked the expenses and to make the eco-friendly upgrades to the facility only added an additional 1.7% to the $35.3 million construction cost.

“DePaul is pleased that our efforts to make the McGowan South Building a model of sustainable development have garnered recognition by the preeminent building efficiency agency in the nation,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul’s president. “That this building will be used to teach environmental sciences makes this designation all the more fitting. The building itself will serve as an example of environmental stewardship to all those who pass through its doors.” Source: DePaul University

Arnett Hall – University of Colorado at Boulder – Boulder, CO

Arnett Hall, on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder, is the first LEED certified residence hall on campus. The building earned LEED Gold certification after the facility was renovated.

Green renovations at the residence hall allowed the university to realize a 20% reduction in energy use and a 39% reduction in water use. The building also uses low-flow plumbing fixtures, energy efficient lighting, carpet with recycled content, and sensors that regulate the heating and cooling systems.

The University of Colorado at Boulder is also awaiting LEED certification for Andrews Hall and Buckingham Hall. Andrews Hall’s renovation was completed last month and Buckingham Hall’s renovations should be finalized in about a year.

Photo by University of Colorado at Boulder