Check Out Our New Exhibit!!
The University of Iowa is committed to sustainability and becoming a green campus. You can read about the various goals in 2020 Vision – The University of Iowa’s Sustainability Targets. And check out the progress report! Our latest exhibit showcases some of the many resources available in our library and also highlights a few of the LEED certified buildings on campus.
What is a LEED building and how is the UI doing towards the goal of sustainability?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a program which recognizes 5 key areas of environmental – and human – health. Looking at sustainable building site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability.
Creating sustainable environments is a very complex task – beginning with key infrastructure elements. According to Woodrow W. Clark II and Grant Cooke, authors of The Green Industrial Revolution, besides those key elements listed above, it also includes transportation, telecommunications and the belief systems, behavior and values of the residents.
The University of Iowa has set a minimum standard of Silver certification for all new buildings and renovation projects. Currently there are 12 LEED certified buildings on campus and 5 that are pending certification. Of the 12 certified buildings, 9 are certified Gold, and 2 are certified Platinum. Of the 5 that are pending certification, 2 are pending Gold, 1 is targeting Silver certification, 1 is pending, and the College of Engineering Seamans Center Annex is targeting Gold/Platinum. The UI Health Care Facilities has 1 facility certified Silver and 2 more pending Silver. The UI Facilities Management has over 20 LEED professionals on staff!
The College of Engineering is aiming for Platinum certification for the Seamans Center annex. The annex will incorporate “lots of green space, with active water filtration ponds and re-use of gray water, and we’re looking at photovoltaics as well,” said College of Engineering Dean Alec Scranton in the College of Engineering article, “And Something More.”
The Information Technology Facility was completed in 2011 and was the first building on campus to earn the LEED Platinum certification. The annual energy savings are estimated to be 71%; 55% of the wood-based construction materials were Forest Stewardship Council certified. It also has carpool parking and encourages biking to work by providing bicycle storage and shower facilities.
The University of Iowa has been installing green roofs on the new and remodeled buildings. The first-ever green roof was installed on the Pappajohn Biodmedical Discovery Building (PBDB). A green roof absorbs and stores rainwater and hot rooftop surfaces transfer their heat to storm water. A green roof reduces runoff from the building, too. The College of Engineering, Seamans Center, also has a small 600 square foot green roof.
Come and see the model of a green roof in our Green Engineering Exhibit!!
Building an Emerald City : A Guide to Creating Green Building Policies and Programs is the story of Seattle, Washington, and how it became the first city in the United States to officially adopt the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standards for it major construction projects. Besides sharing personal accounts and experiences, it also serves as a guidebook – explaining the process from the ground up (so to speak…). It includes information about the differing requirements for LEED certification depending on geographic areas.
An added benefit of creating green roofs can be the preservation of endangered flora. According to Green Roof Retrofit : Building Urban Resilience edited by Sara Wilkinson and Tim Dixon, biodiversity conservation, along with climate change, is one of the over-arching environmental concerns. Encouraging green roofs in urban areas, where there are few areas available for green space, can help bridge the gap between ecology and commerce, and give urban-dwellers the chance to connect with nature.
Another option for an ecological roof is a “cool roof.” A cool roof has a huge impact on climate change and helps reduce carbon emissions. Basically, a cool roof has a roof coating, or outside layer, that is white or light in color. The light roof reflects the sun’s rays rather than absorbing them like a traditional roof does. The heat that is absorbed by a darker colored roof contributes to an increase in the use of air conditioning. A cool roof also can effect the buildings around it – the cooler the roof, the less hot air is carried in the wind.
Thank you to Voxman Music Building staff, Art Building West/Visual Arts Building staff, Eric P. Dean, and the College of Engineering for sharing their photos with us!
Wilkinson, Sara; Dixon, Tim, editors. 2016. Green roof retrofit: building urban resilience. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom : John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Engineering Library TH2401 .G74 2016
Clark, Woodrow; Cooke Grant, authors. 2016. The green industrial revolution : energy, engineering and economics. Kidlington, Oxford : Waltham, Maryland : Elsevier/Butterworth Heinemann. Engineering Library TJ808 .C537 2015
2020 Vision – The University of Iowa’s Sustainability Targets. 2016. Sustainability. University of Iowa.
2010-2015 Progress Report. 2016. University of Iowa Office of Sustainability.
Information Technology Facility. 2016. Sustainability. University of Iowa.
Leed Building at UI. 2016. Sustainability. University of Iowa.
University of Iowa – Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building. 2015. Greenroof Projects Database.
Athens, Lucia. Building an emerald city : a guide to creating green building policies and programs. 2010. Washington, D.C. : Island Press. Engineering Library HT243.U6 A84 2010
Better Buildings Are Our Legacy. 2016. U.S. Green Building Council.
Did you know the UI has a silver-level, bike-friendly rating?
Bike Friendly University : the UI holds a silver-level bike-friendly rating by the League of American Bicyclists. 2016. Sustainability : the University of Iowa.
photo from pervious pavement: http://www.perviouspavement.org/