CUNY’S Lehman Science Hall Earns LEED Platinum

While over 18,000 projects have achieved LEED certification worldwide, fewer than 1,200 have achieved the highest designation of Platinum. City University of New York (CUNY) is now one of those lucky few. The school’s new Lehman College Science Hall recently became the first CUNY building to be awarded the USGBC’s highest green building ranking.

New York is home to only 67 of the world’s certified LEED platinum buildings. Dedicated in 2012, the Science Hall earned its platinum status for an impressive array of environmentally sustainable technologies that allow the building to conserve resources while generating its own electricity.

Lehman Science Hall LEED Platinum 1

Image via CUNY

Designed by architectural firm Perkins+Will and built by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), Lehman Science Hall features a rainwater/greywater system to clean and recirculate water for use in restroom flushing fixtures and rooftop solar panels to heat the building’s water. It is also equipped with a rooftop teaching and research greenhouse.

“We are proud to have achieved LEED Platinum certification for the Science Hall at Lehman College and to bring the client’s vision to life by delivering a high performance learning and research environment,” said Rob Goodwin, Design Director, LEED AP with Perkins+Will. “This project embodies an exciting new academic typology where the building and sustainable systems function as a living lab and an instrument of active learning.”

Lehman Science Hall LEED Platinum

Image via CUNY

Indeed, we’ve seen many colleges and universities take a similar approach to new buildings in the recent past. Many are emphasizing natural light, collaborative learning spaces, and resources conservation as a way to make new classroom space more conducive to healthy students and a healthier planet. It’s also a way for schools to support the growth of the green economy as a whole.

Greater building efficiency can meet 85 percent of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building could generate 2.5 million American jobs, according to USGBC estimates.

Check out the Lehman Science Hall’s complete LEED scorecard here.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

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