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ODU Facility Wins Hampton Roads Green Building Council's First LEED Building of the Year Award

Old Dominion University's E.V. Williams Engineering and Computational Sciences Building (ECSB) has been recognized by the Hampton Roads Green Building Council with the organization's first LEED Building of the Year Award.

The member-voted award, part of the HRGBC's annual program to promote LEED buildings in Hampton Roads, was presented to ODU officials during a luncheon at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens on Aug. 17.

Dale Feltes, ODU's director of design and construction, said the award was given not just for the building's design and construction, but also in recognition of how it has continued to be operated in a sustainable fashion.

"It's a really big honor for this building and for ODU," Feltes said. "It says we've created a good model for the way to operate buildings more sustainably."

The ECSB was the first LEED-certified building constructed on a higher education campus in Virginia when it opened in 2004.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification recognizes buildings designed to meet environmentally friendly standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Last year, Gov. Bob McDonnell put a rule in place that every building constructed or substantially rebuilt on a public college or university campus in Virginia must meet at least LEED silver certification.

Doug Alexander, director of environmental health and safety at ODU, said the university can draw on that expertise to meet its LEED obligations with the ongoing construction boom on campus.

"We sort of got ahead of the curve" with the ECSB, Alexander said. "And I think it sends a very clear message to our campus community that we were serious about sustainability before it was required. This isn't something we're doing because we have to. It's the right thing to do."

The ECSB houses research programs and office space for ODU's science and engineering faculty, and is the headquarters for the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology's new Department of Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering.

Designed by Moseley Architects, the building mixes a traditional academic look with technology-accented touches, such as aluminum sunscreens outside of the windows that cut air-conditioning costs and reflect natural lighting, and incorporates recyclable materials and products bought from vendors that meet environmental requirements.

The ODU building has also received design awards from the Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate.

This article was posted on: August 31, 2010

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