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U.S. Green Building Council awards gold LEED certification to Ransdell Hall

The first building at WKU to be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards has received the second-highest level of certification.

Nate Allen of the U.S. Green Building Council made the announcement Nov. 29 that WKU's Gary A. Ransdell Hall had earned gold LEED certification. (WKU photo by Clinton Lewis)

The U.S. Green Building Council announced that Gary A. Ransdell Hall has earned gold LEED certification. Nate Allen of the USGBC made the announcement Tuesday at a reception in Ransdell Hall.

“This is an incredible facility,” Allen said. “I understand that this has been a pilot for future building projects on this campus and because of the success of this, WKU has a commitment to LEED in future projects. That as well is a major accomplishment.”

Project Manager Ben Johnson said the University originally sought certification at the silver level, but scored enough points to reach gold.

“This LEED designation is further recognition of the sustainable initiatives that we are undertaking at WKU,” Johnson said.

Project Manager Ben Johnson said the LEED designation for Ransdell Hall "is further recognition of the sustainable initiatives that we are undertaking at WKU." (WKU photo by Clinton Lewis)

Johnson said points are awarded in six categories that indicate achievement in energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable practices. Ransdell Hall earned points for access to public transportation, low-flow plumbing fixtures, recycled materials, regional materials, highly insulated walls, highly efficient heating and cooling, water efficient landscaping, reflective roof, reflective coating on parking lot, material reuse and use of regional materials, collection of recyclable materials, green cleaning practices, open green space near the facility, energy efficient lighting and abundance of natural light.

Johnson said USGBC officials were also impressed by the University’s focus on efficiency and sustainability, from recycling efforts to performance contracting to become more energy efficient.

And while state law now requires all new construction of more than $25 million to achieve LEED certification, WKU was ahead of the game and going beyond. Ransdell Hall was designed before House Bill 2 became law, Johnson said. In addition, the new Music Hall, slated to open spring 2012, is designed to be LEED silver even though it is only a $9 million project.

WKU President Gary Ransdell said the University is committed to building to LEED standards in all new campus construction and renovation.

“WKU is and will continue to be focused on being good stewards of our natural resources and role model for sustainability,” he said.

The 120,000-square-foot, $35 million Ransdell Hall, which houses the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, opened spring 2011. The facility was designed by RossTarrant Architects of Lexington. A&K Construction of Paducah served as general contractor.

Contact: Ben Johnson, (270) 745-2075.

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