Penn State's Smeal College of Business Awarded Prestigious LEED® Gold Certification

Apr 14, 2016 11:05 AM ET
Press Release

Madison, WI, April 14, 2016 /3BL Media/ - Pennsylvania State University announced today that the Smeal College of Business Building has earned LEED® Gold certification. As part of the college’s commitment to sustainability leadership, Smeal endeavored to earn LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance certification, the first building to do so on any Penn State campus. The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

Smeal achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, waste diversion and indoor environmental quality.  Notably, their energy and water use reduction strategies have resulted in energy use that is 34% below that of comparable buildings, and a 16.67% reduction in water use over buildings of the same size. The building embodies the “living laboratory” concept, where the building itself is used as a tool to engage undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff on how sustainability applies to the world around them. 

Penn State partnered with Leonardo Academy, a sustainability consulting nonprofit, for guidance and support to achieve LEED Gold. “Leonardo Academy was very helpful in taking the Smeal Business School building through the LEED-EBOM v4 certification process and earning LEED Gold certification,” said Rachel Prinkey, project manager at Penn State University.

“Building operations are nearly 40% of the solution to the global climate change challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “While climate change is a global problem, innovative buildings like the Penn State Smeal College of Business are addressing it through local solutions.”

Today Penn State will host the official LEED Plaque ceremony. The LEED Plaque is awarded to projects that have earned LEED certification based on formal review of project documentation by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). The ceremony will be attended by University President Eric Barron and College of Business Dean Charles H. Whiteman, and will honor the project team that made this certification a success.