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Library renovation gets gold environmental award

Posted by on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in Articles, Spring 2012.

Vanderbilt University’s Central Library has been awarded a gold certification for its environmentally friendly 2010 renovation from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

The recognition makes the Central Library the first Vanderbilt campus renovation to achieve this high honor. Vanderbilt University has a total of 12 LEED-certified buildings.

“We are thrilled that the renovation exceeded our initial sustainability goals and the recognition speaks to the dedication and commitment of the entire planning team,” said Connie Vinita Dowell, dean of libraries at Vanderbilt.

The library’s Green Team paired with its renovation partners to host a celebration in March. Participating groups included the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Management, Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility (SPEAR), Vanderbilt Student Government and university architects.

“One of the most sustainable aspects of the renovation was the restoration of the building to its original grandeur while meeting the needs of today’s students,” said Keith Loiseau, university architect. More than 30,000 square feet were renovated on four floors of the 70-year-old library building. Goals included making the space more attractive and inviting to library users while addressing the needs of students in the 21st century. The improvements included bright and spacious study areas, refurbished grand reading rooms, new classrooms, a café, galleries with interactive exhibits and a large multipurpose space suited for community events. The $6 million renovation was designed by Nashville architects Gilbert McLaughlin Casella.

The LEED Green Building Rating System is the nationally recognized benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED certification signifies that a building is environmentally responsible and a healthy place to live and work.

As part of its LEED-Gold certification, the renovation achieved credits for installation of an Encelium lighting system that is 30 percent more efficient; recycling of 75 to 80 percent of demolition waste; placement of recycling containers in 25 locations throughout the building; installation of dual-flush/low-flow toilets, low-flow faucet fixtures and a high-efficiency variable flow refrigerant HVAC mechanical system; and using recycled content in 10 percent of the new furniture and furnishings.

The campus celebrated the award on March 29 with tours of the building’s green enhancements and cake on the library lawn patio.

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