Southwestern University has two certified buildings under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System™.
Wilhelmina Cullen Admission Center (2008) - LEED Gold
The one-story, 9,602 square-foot building was built and furnished at a cost of $3.3 million. The ‘green’ building was designed with the goal of Gold LEED certification, the second highest possible certification.
Features that make the building “green” include a bamboo floor in the lobby area, skylights in the center of the building, waterless urinals, solar-powered sink faucets, and reflective roof shingles. At least 20% of the materials used in the building were extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. All paints, finishes, adhesives, and sealants used on the interior of the building had low VOC content. The building also is surrounded by landscaping that uses native plants and has electric car charging stations in the parking lot.
Charles & Elizabeth Prothro Center For Lifelong Learning (2010) - LEED Silver
The three-story, 40,350 square-foot building was built and furnished at a cost of $11 million. The building’s water efficiency features – including dual-flush toilets, waterless urinals and solar-powered, timed faucets – are estimated to use 41% less water that would otherwise be used, resulting in a savings of 33,000 gallons of drinkable water a year.
The building’s energy-saving features such as reflective roof shingles and insulation mean it will use nearly 27% less energy a year than a typical building of the same size. 47% of the materials in the building were made from recycled content, including the copper shingles, the door and window frames, the carpet and the ceiling tile. 90% of the construction waste was recycled for use as other products, including 304 tons of concrete, 28 tons of steel and metal, 130 tons of wood, sheetrock and cardboard, and 10 tons of brush.
The Southwestern custodial staff uses Stearns’ Green Seal® certified Neutral Cleaner, Restroom and Bowl Cleaner, and Winder Cleaner. These products are free of harmful ingredients, such as acid, alkyl or nonylphenols, solvents, glycol ethers, ammonia, and VOCs - thus curbing the negative impacts from cleaning products on health and the environment. The custodial staff also use safe and efficient cleaning tools, such as the Deionized Window Washing Equipment that clean the outdoor windows using only water.
Energy and Water Conservation
Since 2001, Southwestern has reduced its electrical consumption per square foot by 39%. Through student involvement, SU has replaced the traditional light fixtures in Heather Hall, the Cove, and the Walzel Court with LED fixtures; installed a solar water heater on the roof of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house; and installed fast drying hand dryers in public bathrooms around campus. These energy conservation efforts have helped Southwestern save money and reduce its carbon footprint.
All new and replacement plumbing fixtures at Southwestern are low flow, water conserving fixtures. Low-flow showerheads, toilets, and urinals help save a significant amount of water each year.