Campus renovations and new building construction create opportunities to prioritize energy efficiency, recycle further, and source materials that are environmentally friendly.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Green Building Rating System™, is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.*
There are rating systems available for both New Construction (NC) and Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (O+M).
Certification or Guideline?
LEED offers an outside verification on how environmentally friendly the construction is. Whether or not to go for certification is on a case by case basis. The State Division of Facilities Development also has Sustainable Facilities Standards that aim at the same principles as LEED, without the verification process. The guidelines are helpful to UWM renovations and contract specifications.
Cambridge Commons – LEED Gold
To meet the growing demand for student housing, Cambridge Commons was built along the east side of the Milwaukee River, across from the current residence hall RiverView. The green features of the building include two green roofs, a grey water collection system, as well as an environmental stewardship living learning community.
Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health- LEED Gold
The Zilber School’s newly completed, five-story LEED-certified main facility near downtown provides ample space for collaborative, interdisciplinary research and anchors one of Milwaukee’s transforming historic neighborhoods. Over 95% of construction waste was diverted from landfill during construction of the building.
Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex- LEED Gold
Accelerator Building at Innovation Campus- LEED Silver
School of Freshwater Sciences
UWM Children’s Center
These two projects are currently trending for LEED certification of varying levels.
*Information on LEED certification is provided by the U.S. Green Building Council.*