The university is committed to renovating and constructing buildings that use resources efficiently and create healthful environments. Each new building or renovation with a budget of $4 million or more is required to achieve U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification or higher.
Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center
The Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center was the first building on campus to gain LEED certification, meeting LEED criteria in these five primary areas:
- Sustainable Sites
- Water Efficiency
- Energy & Atmosphere
- Materials & Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
The Ohio Union was the second building on the Columbus campus to reach LEED certification. Below are some of the sustainability measures taken during the building project that fulfilled LEED credit requirements:
- Erosion and sedimentation control
- Storm Water Management
- Water Efficient Landscaping
- Optimized Energy Performance
- Storage and Collection of Recyclables
- Recycled Content
- Regional Materials
- Material Reuse
- Certified Wood
- Green Cleaning
Student Academic Services Building and Lane Avenue Parking Garage
Certified as LEED Silver in May 2011, the Student Academic Services Building and Lane Avenue Parking Garage become the third LEED-certified building on campus. The building houses enrollment, financial aid services, the registrar, admissions and more. It received credits for some of the following features:
- Mitigation of the heat island effect
- Storm water management
- Reduced water usage
- Optimizing energy performance
- Daylight utilization
- Controllability of lighting systems
- Construction waste recycling
Cunz Hall, home of the College of Public Health, is the first renovation project on campus to become LEED-certified. The building boasts several features:
- Sustainable principles, including improvements to the indoor environmental quality through improved ventilation and mechanical systems, sustainable finishes, and daylighting.
- The reuse of existing building materials, recycled materials, and construction waste management.
- Energy-efficient upgrades to the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and reductions to the carbon footprint.
Kennedy Commons, a 30,000 square-foot dining facility, reopened in 2011 after two years of planning. Sustainability was built into nearly every aspect of the building, from site selection to furnishings, allowing Kennedy Commons to gain LEED recognition in many areas:
- The original exterior from 1955 was retained to preserve the historic exterior of the building and minimize construction debris.
- More than 75% of the construction waste that was removed from the building during renovation was recycled and diverted from landfills.
- The finished building uses low volatile organic compound building materials, nearly 20% recycled content, energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient landscaping, and plumbing fixtures that reduce water usage.
- Much of the existing furniture was refurbished and reused in the dining and commons areas.
- Food waste is captured in a pulper that breaks down the organic material that is shipped to an off-site anaerobic digestion system and converted to biogas used to produce energy. This system reduces waste by up to 88% in volume.