The Science and Engineering Building awarded Gold LEED status


(Photo credit Daniel DuBois/Vanderbilt)

Rachel Friedman, Campus Editor

The Science and Engineering Building was classified as gold under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating scale last month.

The LEED classifications are awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit that supports sustainable building designs. The Science and Engineering Building’s classification joins a number of other LEED status buildings on campus. Notably, the new Nursing School building, which opened Jan. 22, was designed around qualifying for gold LEED status.

“Laboratory buildings are inherently high energy users, especially ones with state-of-the-art clean rooms like the one found at the Engineering and Science Building,” Sustainability Outreach Coordinator Chelsea Hamilton said. “Thus it is essential to do the most we can to reduce their environmental impact which also aligns with FutureVU’s guiding principle that Vanderbilt become a more sustainable campus.”

Gold status is the second highest credential on LEED’s green rating system.

The LEED rating system is one of many certifications, according to Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility (SPEAR) president Keegan Campanelli. While LEED is among the most recognized scales for building sustainability, other rankings can be valuable in assessing a building’s sustainability features over time, he said. Nevertheless, the rating is very impressive, he said.

“It’s awesome that Vanderbilt is doing that and trying to have this outward facing sustainability message,” Campanelli said. “What is still the industry standard is LEED, and that we have the gold certification for that is very exciting.”