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University of Illinois Business Instructional Facility achieves LEED Platinum

University of Illinois Business Instructional Facility achieves LEED Platinum

University of Illinois Business Instructional Facility achieves LEED Platinum

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (Dec. 13, 2009)–The state-of-the-art Business Instructional Facility at the University of Illinois has earned the highest distinction for sustainable, environmentally friendly construction and design.

The year-old building is the first business facility at a public university anywhere in the world to earn platinum certification through LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a U.S. Green Building Council rating system that has become the recognized standard for measuring sustainability in construction.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects designed the four-story, 160,000-square-foot facility. Senior Principal Cesar Pelli is a University of Illinois graduate.

“LEED platinum certification is more than a culminating acknowledgement of the university’s exceptional environmental stewardship,” said Craig G. Copeland, a senior associate with the firm. “It is a responsibility to students, faculty and alumni at the College of Business to continue leading in the study, teaching and practice of sustainable business.”

The $60 million-plus facility, which opened in August 2008, is among a dozen platinum-certified projects at any university, and is the first at any university or college in Illinois, where only 14 other buildings have been certified platinum.

“It was no mistake the College of Business took action to build the first ‘green’ building on our campus,” said Larry DeBrock, the dean of the College of Business. “The LEED Platinum designation reflects the importance of social and professional responsibility to our students, staff, faculty, friends, and alumni. We are proud of our continuing efforts to push the college and the campus to be leaders in a sustainable world for everyone.”

More than 14,000 buildings have been certified though the council’s four-tiered scale since the nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders began the program a decade ago, but fewer than 300 buildings worldwide have achieved the top LEED standard.

The Business Instructional Facility was designed to ease the mounting load on the environment, with energy-saving features that include solar panels to help power the building, roof plantings that provide insulation and reduce water runoff, and an energy-efficient heating and cooling system. A towering atrium maximizes natural light. Combined, the measures could trim energy use by nearly 50 percent, officials estimate, cutting utility costs by up to $300,000 a year compared with traditional classroom buildings on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

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