Construction seems to be a permanent fixture on campus. The 8 million square foot campus is expected to grow by over 700,000 square feet (about 9%) by 2012. But what is the role of sustainability in all these new buildings? Students had a chance to get their questions answered on March 30th in the Montgomery Auditorium in LaFortune.
University Architect Doug Marsh hosted an hour and a half discussion with students about LEED certification and the future of green building on Notre Dame’s campus. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the recognized national standard for measuring sustainability in building. Stinson-Remick, Geddes Hall, Ryan Hall, the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, and the first building in Innovation Park are all under construction and in the process of pursuing LEED certification.
“Buildings produce over 40% of all carbon emissions in the U.S., making them the largest single contributor to global warming,” said sophomore architecture major Jackson Bangs. “Given this, we need to look critically at what the University is doing to reduce the impact of its new construction on campus.”
Marsh addressed how LEED has influenced Notre Dame’s new buildings as well as its virtues and shortcomings as a sustainability rating system. Students had many questions on topics ranging from specific campus construction projects to the growing role of green building in national sustainability efforts.