UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A three-year effort led by the Penn State Smeal College of Business and complemented by Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant (OPP) has resulted in the Business Building earning LEED-EB Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
To earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation, facilities must meet requirements across a series of measurements, including: location and transportation, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resources, indoor environmental quality, and regional priority credits.
The Business Building, which opened its doors in 2005 at the corner of Park Avenue and Shortlidge Road on the Penn State University Park campus, was recognized by the council as a gold-level facility in the Existing Building (EB) category. It’s the first building at Penn State to earn the LEED-EB designation.
“The effort to earn LEED-EB Gold Certification shows Smeal’s dedication to sustainability,” said Erik Foley, the college’s director of sustainability. “Not only will the college save money, there are operational benefits to earning certification. OPP invested in the project and can use the Business Building as a model for other LEED-EB efforts.”
The certification effort is part of a larger business sustainability effort at Smeal that includes teaching, research, student engagement, career services, executive education, and alumni services.
“Terry Harrison has been instrumental in leading the college’s sustainability efforts. His work in helping to obtain this certification was crucial to our efforts,” said Charles H. Whiteman, John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal.
Foley said that throughout the years-long process, hundreds of students helped gather data. Since the building will need to be recertified every five years to keep its designation, Foley said the Business Building will act as a living laboratory.
A LEED-EB Gold plaque ceremony has been planned for April in the Business Building.
About Sustainability at SmealThe Smeal College of Business is committed to sustainability in education, research, and practice. In 2013, the college's Sustainability Strategic Plan was developed by a college task force and authorized by the dean. Sustainability is infused into courses across the Smeal curriculum, including a two-piece sequence for undergraduates and a concentration in the Penn State Smeal MBA Program. The college also supports faculty research efforts related to business and sustainability, promotes outreach efforts through educational units and research centers, and leads by example in promoting sustainable behavior among current faculty, staff, and students. For more information on sustainability efforts at Smeal, visit the Smeal Sustainability Council's website at www.smeal.psu.edu/research/sustainability-council.