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Archive for October, 2010

By Liz Bloomhardt

Published October 22, 2010

In the seven years since the Board of Trustees adopted the current LEED standard to target a level silver certification on all new construction and renovation projects, the University has registered 27 projects with U.S. Green Building Council for certification. Despite the seemingly large number of registered projects, Duke is not yet getting the full benefit of its LEED commitment.

While “generally” resulting in better buildings from a maintenance and utilities perspective, John Noonan, associate vice president for facilities, informed me in an e-mail that “as we audited past LEED projects, we found a lot of emphasis placed on scoring points, and perhaps less so on focusing the points in areas that impact energy.” Specifically, according to a 2009 study of 20 LEED registered projects on campus, conducted by Nicholas School Masters student Amy Dao, Duke was only awarded an average 28 percent of the total number of energy points, while getting over 50 percent of the available LEED points in all other categories.

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Building to LEED

By Liz Bloomhardt

Published October 8, 2010

I work in a building on campus. He’s a mean dude. He swallows me whole to a quiet place in his bowels, then hums and belches air in my face all day. He can’t decide if it should be hot or cold, though in the interior, it’s usually cold. Sometimes the heater is on, even though it’s summer.

My building has a neighbor, and she is clean and bright, full of daylight, with signs pointing toward the recycling bins and motion sensors on the lights.

I don’t work in a LEED building. But the building next door is a LEED Silver certified building. It has a plaque.

LEED distinguishes more than just old versus new, plaque versus no plaque. So, what is LEED? And what does a silver building have that mine doesn’t?

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