Renovations to the Roberts Building completed in 2015 earned LEED gold certification, the U.S. Green Building Council announced in March. The renovation of the second and third floors as residence halls led to Colby’s 14th LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) certification and increased LEED certified space to the point where 20 percent of people on campus live or work in LEED space, according to Sustainability Coordinator Kevin Bright.
A long list of environment friendly initiatives are assigned points that, when tallied on the LEED scorecard, determine the level of LEED certification. For example, the space in Roberts is lit almost exclusively with LED light fixtures, and it is the first building on campus using occupancy sensors in hallways to provide nonemergency lighting only when someone is present.
Overall, the space uses over 70 percent less electricity than if it were designed and built to simply meet current building and electrical codes, Bright said. Also, building materials and furnishings were selected for their low emission of volatile organic compounds to ensure healthier air. The project was awarded more points than any other past LEED project at Colby.
Colby’s facilities staff managed the entire LEED process internally for this project, and students who earned their LEED Green Associate accreditation through a Jan Plan course got practical experience completing documentation for the project.
With 14 LEED buildings Colby has more than any other educational institution in Maine. Roberts became the 10th Colby project certified LEED gold, the second highest level in the USGBC’s program. The College is committed to achieving LEED certification for all future construction including commercial interior projects like the Roberts project. More information about Colby’s LEED commitment and record is online.