The design and construction of buildings greatly impact energy consumption and pollution including fossil carbon emissions. At UWO we are committed to green buildings by incorporating elements of energy efficiency design standards on all new construction and applicable renovation projects.
LEED Certified Construction
Several recent projects have been designed and constructed in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, including the Student Success Center, Sage Hall, and Horizon Village. Horizon achieved Gold in the LEED rating system in May 2013, Sage Hall received the Gold rating in October 2012, and the Student Success Center earned a LEED-Silver as the first LEED certified building at UWO. The Student Recreation and Wellness Center and the South Campus Parking Ramp were built following LEED-Silver guidelines, though neither was certified. Additionally, Taylor Hall, which was renovated in 2005, was inspired by the LEED rating system, but also was not certified.
What is LEED? What makes for a green building? The USGBC's LEED certification system has become the standard for sustainable building practices. Learn more from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Dry Fermentation Anaerobic Biodigester
In 2012, UWO opened a dry fermentation anaerobic biodigester system. The benefits of the plant are many. At its core, the plant converts food and yard wastes, or renewable biomass, into methane gas, which is burned to produce steam to generate electricity. The plant digests some 6,000 tons of organic waste per year, converting it into about 8% of the electricity consumed by campus reducing its fossil greenhouse gas emissions. In diverting this waste from landfills, the plant also contributes to extending the life of landfills, while saving the campus money associated with the cost of transporting wastes and in tipping fees. Learn more.
As the University’s first new academic building in 40 years, Sage Hall opened its doors in fall 2011. Solar photovoltaic and solar thermal hot water installations generate 10 percent of the energy needs for the 190,000-square-foot building. Sage also is equipped with features that improve the use of daylight for lighting, thereby reducing the need for electricity. In all, Sage was built to be about 40% more efficient than a conventional building of equal size. Outside the building, Sage has been outfitted with a green roof and bioswales for stormwater management to slow runoff and improve water quality following precipitation events.
Student Recreation and Wellness Center
SRWC opened in 2007, and was designed with numerous sustainable features. It was designed to the equivalent of a LEED Silver rating. Some of the features include:
- Generous windows deliver panoramic river views as well as natural lighting to many spaces, reducing electrical loads.
- More than half of construction waste was recycled or reused.
- 20 percent of building materials were regionally manufactured.