What is LEED?
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED buildings are designed to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and be a healthier and safer environment for occupants. The certification has four levels; bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.
UMW and LEED
With all of the construction projects on campus, UMW strives to work towards sustainability by requiring all new projects to meet LEED silver qualifications. The renovation of Randolph and Mason, took these sustainability initiatives to another level by becoming LEED gold certified. To meet the gold qualifications, these buildings have implemented numerous sustainable aspects. For example, many of the materials used in the project were reused from the original buildings, all of the hallway lights are motion-sensored, and the landscaping consist of native vegetation. Most unique to these buildings is the energy dashboard which reports energy usage and provides information on the energy impacts of typical dorm room items, such as lamps, TV’s, and computers. This is an exciting new tool that will help to better educate the campus community on energy conservation measures.
The construction of the Dahlgren campus provided unique sustainability opportunities by being the first UMW campus to use geothermal heating and cooling. It is also our first building with a green roof. Planted with seedums, the green roof reduces the amount of rain water run off, therefore reducing the amount of storm water pollution from the building. It also insulates the building by taking in the sun’s rays to keep the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Lastly, the campus is our first to be completely landscaped with native vegetation. This provides a compatible landscape for wildlife and a beautiful setting for education.