It’s Official: Carlow University’s University Commons Building Achieves LEED Silver Certification

The Green Building Certification Institute has awarded Carlow’s University Commons LEED Silver Certification.

University Communications For Immediate Release
Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations December 04, 2015
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The Green Building Certification Institute Recognizes University Commons’Quality and Achievement

Pittsburgh, Pa. –Pittsburgh can add one more “green” building to its credit.

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) hasawarded Carlow’s University Commons with LEED Silver Certification.

There are fourlevels of LEED certification, depending on how many points the project hasearned: certified, silver, gold, and platinum. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,provides independent verification of a building (new or renovated) orneighborhood’s green features, allowing for the design, construction,operations, and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, healthy,cost-effective buildings.

“The University Commons project demonstrates CarlowUniversity’s commitment to sustainability,” said Tim Carney, director of facilitiesat Carlow.

Building a green building is also in keeping with the valuesof the Sisters of Mercy, the founders and sponsors of the university.  One of their critical concerns is the continuingdegradation of the earth, so it was important to the Carlow administration thatthis project reflect that commitment of being good stewards of the environment.

“The credit for this initiative goes to Carlow Universityand all those who participated in this effort,” said Carney.  “It could not have happened without theadministrative support, the allocation of financial resources, and theperformance of all the hardworking people who participated on this project.”

The UniversityCommons project involved the complete renovation of the 82,500 square footGrace Library Building on the Oakland campus, which turned it into the centerof campus life and learning at Carlow University.  The new University Commons contains Grace Library,but also services that support faculty and student learning and collaboration.

In part, theproject was designed to reduce Carlow’s energy consumption and water usage, andincrease the building’s air quality through improved HVAC system that reducesmoisture and dust. The architect was the Pittsburgh firm of MacLachlan,Cornelius, and Filoni

Duringconstruction, the project’s general contractor, Massaro Corporation, was ableto use more than 75 percent of the existing building structure, and implement awaste management plan that diverted a minimum of 75 percent of constructionwaste away from landfills.  Accordingto GBCI, LEED projects are responsible for diverting 80 million tons of wastefrom landfills.

Forconstruction, at least 20 percent of new materials came from recycled content,and up to 20 percent of the raw materials used in construction were extracted,processed, and manufactured regionally to reduce transportation costs.

“With its lowerenergy and water costs, the University Commons strengthens our ties to thegreater community – especially through Carlow’s membership in the Pittsburgh2030 Oakland District – and keeps our faculty, students, and staff, happier andhealthier,” said Carney.  “It sets a newstandard for building on Carlow’s campus.” 

### About Carlow University
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CarlowUniversity was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929. Offering bothundergraduate and graduate programs, Carlow University is a comprehensivemaster’s institution dedicated to learner-centered education at the collegiatelevels and at the elementary school level in the Campus School of CarlowUniversity.

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