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Centennial Hall was UW-L's first LEED Gold certified building. A solar panel: 24-panel array includes 960 square feet of solar collector space to supplement the energy necessary for this building’s hot water heating system. This solar hot water heating system has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually from traditional use of natural gas or coal for heating water. The following link is useful for a better understanding of solar hot water systems and their benefits from a commercial or residential standpoint: WI Focus on Energy: Solar Hot-Water Fact Sheet (PDF).
Centennial Hall was also designed to be at least 30% more efficient than commercial code. Lighting is a key part in achieving this efficiency and to minimize energy consumption, high efficiency fluorescent bulbs are used. The 5,000K bulbs look more like natural daylight and are able to use less wattage than other fluorescent types. This design allows as much natural light as possible with consideration to the heating and cooling effects of day lighting.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, as it’s commonly known, is a points-based third party verified green building certification process created and managed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The certification process awards points for pursuing sustainability measures in categories including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, as well as innovation in design.
All new building or major renovation projects at UW-L will be designed and built to be at least 30% more energy efficient than commercial code. In addition, such projects will be designed to be able to achieve LEED certification. Through LEED-certified building practices, UW-La Crosse strives to diminish its environmental footprint as much as possible. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the international standard for environmentally-conscious building design, construction, and operation. Currently, UW-L is home to two LEED Gold certified buildings: Centennial Hall and Eagle Hall.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification focuses on improving performance in areas that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. In the end, the LEED certification process provides a detailed review of design, construction and operational parameters associated with a specific building or renovation project. The LEED process involves a team approach with inputs made by numerous UW-L and State stakeholders. Each project pursuing LEED certification hires a LEED consultant to coordinate this time-intense, but worthy process.
For additional information and LEED details visit the UW-L Campus Planning and Construction homepage. On a case-by-case basis, UW-L will determine if non-taxpayer funds are available to acquire LEED certification.
Apply for a Green Fund grant today! Applications are due November 9th and mini-grants are accepting on a rolling basis. Please contact Ian Wright at email@example.com for more information.
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University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
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