TAMPA — The University of Tampa recently received LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for West Kennedy Hall, UT’s newest residential community on campus. The building opened in August 2013.
West Kennedy Hall is the third building on UT’s campus built in accordance with the rigorous standards set by USGBC’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification program. The other two buildings are the Science Annex, which achieved LEED Gold designation, and the Dickey Health and Wellness Center, which achieved LEED Silver designation.
The LEED rating system, developed by the USGBC, is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.
“The University is committed to providing healthy, safe and efficient buildings for all students, faculty and staff,” said UT President Ronald Vaughn. “I believe West Kennedy successfully both reflects the latest in University campus amenities and achieves innovative ways to conserve natural resources and lessen the impact on the environment.”
West Kennedy Hall features 11 stories and houses 523 students. It is located on Kennedy Boulevard, between North Brevard Avenue and North Boulevard.
During the design, construction and operations of West Kennedy Hall, there were many innovative green-building strategies implemented in order to meet key sustainability goals, including:
- A solar thermal array located on the roof of the residence hall utilizes the sun’s energy to heat water for the occupants use — offsetting natural gas usage and maximizing renewable energy.
- The building design incorporates low-flow fixtures — including low-flow showerheads and toilets — which reduce water consumption by more than 38 percent, or over 2.3 million gallons per year.
- Highly efficient chilled water system, lighting and lighting controls have been employed to promote energy efficiency, while maximizing comfort and utilizing the ample daylight available in all residence rooms. These features help the project achieve more than 30 percent more efficiency than the LEED “baseline.”
- Low VOC paints, as well as construction adhesives/sealants and other materials, were employed to promote a healthy indoor air environment.
- More than 1,200 cubic yards of construction waste was diverted from a landfill and put back into the recycling stream for continued use, representing over 78 percent of the total construction waste related to the project.
- The University installed a storm water vault that stores rainwater to irrigate a portion of campus, and the project’s landscape design utilized only native, Florida Friendly and drought-tolerant plantings in order to reduce maintenance costs.
- A comprehensive green cleaning program was implemented, ensuring the building will be operated in a sustainable and healthy manner. This includes using healthy cleaning practices and sourcing paper products that contain recycled content.
- West Kennedy Hall is well located for students to take advantage of mass transit, nearby restaurants and social gathering places such as parks, the Tampa Riverwalk and campus amenities — reducing the need for automobile use and its related emissions.
“The University of Tampa project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC.
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category.
The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations. Since USGBC’s founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 17,000 member companies and organizations, a comprehensive family of LEED® green building rating systems, an expansive educational offering, the industry’s popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (www.greenbuildexpo.org), and a network of 78 local chapters, affiliates and organizing groups. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.
The University of Tampa is a private, residential university located on 105 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University serves 7,200 students from 50 states and 136 countries. Approximately 65 percent of full-time students live on campus, and about half of UT students are from Florida.