Seven years after it opened as the greenest laboratory facility in the U.S., Bren Hall was honored with the nation’s first Double Platinum rating for sustainability from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on August 4. Each of the Platinum ratings-one awarded in 2002 for New Construction, when Bren Hall was first built, and the second for Existing Buildings-Operations & Maintenance-is based upon USGBC’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System, a nationally accepted benchmark.
The newest Platinum rating, as an existing building, is based upon Bren Hall’s performance in a three-month period during which operations and maintenance, occupant health, and financial return on sustainable technology were documented. Ultimately, while the rating of a new building testifies to the sustainability of building materials, landscaping, management of construction-related waste, and resource efficiency, the existing building rating also gauges the commitment to sustainability of those utilizing a building.
“It was a major achievement to construct Bren Hall as the first LEED Platinum laboratory building in the nation,” says Bren School Acting Dean John Melack, “but in some ways that was easier than earning recertification at the Platinum level. As a new building, much of the work is let to the architects and the contractors, but as an existing building, it is up to us, the occupants, to work with the staff and the university personnel to maintain and operate the building to the highest standards.”
“As the first project to receive LEED Platinum certification as both a new and existing building, Bren Hall demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” according to Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council.