University of Washington Racks Up LEED Certifications

The Foster School of Business at the University of Washington recently gained LEED certification for PACCAR Hall, the first phase of a multi-phase project. Located at the convergence of disparate campus plans, the building is part of a plan to transform the university’s current collection of outdated business school facilities into a cohesive, interconnected whole.

The University of Washington, like many leading institutions of higher education, has placed a solid emphasis on building to LEED standards in recent years. Currently, it holds nearly 20 certified buildings — two of them Platinum — and has another 15 pending certification. According to Architizer, PACCAR Hall was designed to intertwine program and community space in a manner characteristic of the business school’s interactive, entrepreneurial culture while encouraging students to engage with the university campus as a whole.

University of Washington PACCAR Hall

image via Architizer

The building has garnered LEED certification at the Gold level for a host of green building strategies, including extensive day-lighting throughout classrooms, offices and common areas; and displacement HVAC, which saves energy over mixing systems by supplying heated or cooled air only to occupied areas (rather than the entire building).

Indirect evaporative cooling — rather than traditional air conditioning — helps to keep the building cool in the summer without introducing humidity into the interior space.  The building also makes wise use of water, via low-flow fixtures and smart landscaping, and features a green roof, which helps to insulate the building while controling and treating stormwater runoff on site.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.