DePaul University’s newest academic building, Arts & Letters Hall, has earned Gold LEED-certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which recognizes leadership in energy efficiency and environmental design.
Bob Janis, DePaul’s vice president for Facility Operations, said the designation is especially satisfying because the criteria for earning LEED ratings are becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. “It is important that DePaul continues with its commitment to design LEED-certified buildings as part of its overall approach to furthering sustainability and sustainable practices,” Janis said. “Hopefully, DePaul’s show of commitment when it comes to major elements like this will get individuals thinking more about what part they can play—even in small ways—to change the environment for the better.”
Janis said the $33 million building’s energy-efficient features were developed in conjunction with Illinois Clean Energy, which granted DePaul $150,000 to help pay for LEED design and commissioning activity. The facility’s features include: thermal walls, a reflective roof surface, lighting and occupancy sensors, high-efficiency condensing boilers and LED lamps and fixtures. Additional green design features include rainwater harvesting for landscape irrigation and carbon dioxide sensors. The building’s estimated annual energy savings over a standard, code-compliant building of its size is 26 percent, according to Illinois Clean Energy.
The four-story, 119,000-square-foot building at 2315 N. Kenmore Ave. on the Lincoln Park Campus was dedicated in January. Antunovich Associates was the architect of the facilty, which features 47 state-of-the-art classrooms and a computer classroom for math and science specialties. It houses the Department of History of Art & Architecture and the Department of English.
Arts & Letters Hall joins two other LEED-certified buildings at DePaul. The Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Environmental Science and Chemistry Building, opened in 2009, has earned a Gold LEED designation and the DePaul Art Museum, opened in 2011, has earned a Silver LEED cerificate from the USGBC.
Last month, DePaul’s sustainability efforts received bronze level recognition from the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact. The 2012 Princeton Review Guide to 311 Green Colleges also recognizes DePaul for its green building initiatives, conservation efforts, use of alternative energy and environmental academic programs.