CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The state-of-the-art Business Instructional Facility at the University of Illinois has earned the world's highest honor for sustainable, environmentally friendly construction and design.
The interior of Business Instructional Facility features passive solar artrium. | Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
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.
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.
"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."
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.
Though LEED standards are now synonymous with sustainable design, the green council's efforts to promote earth-friendly construction were still in their infancy when planning for the building began in 2003, said Avijit Ghosh, who was the dean of the College of Business when the project took root.
"We simply wanted the design and construction of this building to re
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign