As expected, the Rafik B. Hariri Building has been awarded LEED certification for its environmentally-friendly features. Georgetown applied for LEED Certification, which is awarded to buildings that are sustainable, and water, energy, resource, and material efficient, during the fall semester.
LEED certification is awarded by the U. S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization which bills the award as the “nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings,” but LEED certification has been criticized for similarly weighting expensive green features with large environmental impacts and inexpensive projects with minimal impact.
According to a press release from the Georgetown McDonough School of Business, the following are some of the features that the LEED certification recognized:
“• An expected energy savings of 15 percent through efficient lighting design and controls
• A 41 percent water use reduction through use of ultra low flow fixtures and dual-flush water closets
• Water-efficient landscaping
• Building materials that contain recycled content and were manufactured locally
• More than half of the construction waste – 800 tons – was recycled and re-used
• Bicycle storage facilities, proximity to public transportation, and several preferred parking spaces for hybrid and electric vehicles
• Low-emitting paints, adhesives, sealants and carpeting
• Manufacturing 25 percent of the total building materials using recycled materials
• Local products, in that nearly 31 percent of the total building materials were extracted, harvested, or recovered, as well as manufactured, within 500 miles of the project site.”
“From the fluidized bed coal boiler in 1979, to the solar panels we installed on the Bunn Intercultural Center in 1982, to our fuel cell buses, Georgetown has long been green,” President John DeGioia said of the award. “We’ve done so because of a dedication to the principle of sustainability.”
The University has committed getting LEED certification for all of its new structures.