No. 231 . 09 March 2005 
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Green Building School

by Lauri Puchall

At the University of Florida in Gainesville, the new home for the School of Building Construction is setting an example for sustainability on campus. Rinker Hall has achieved a "gold" LEED rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Its success has raised the bar for this university's new buildings which will now be expected to meet or exceed LEED silver standards.

Croxton Collaborative Architects of New York and GouldEvans of Tampa, Florida worked jointly with input from the university staff, students, and construction managers to address a broad spectrum of environmental concerns.

While Rinker Hall cost more than a comparable conventional structure, the client expects to recover the additional costs within six years through energy savings, according to Jonathan Rae, project architect with GouldEvans. Projected fuel cost increases and savings from water conservation will probably hasten the break-even point.

The School of Building Construction was an appropriate place to initiate the "green" movement on campus. Dr. Charles Kibert, Director of the school's Powell Center for Construction and Environment, and author of Sustainable Construction: Green Building Design and Delivery, has been involved with the USGBC since LEED's inception.

Student Input for Sustainability

The architects planned and designed Rinker Hall with students in mind. A three-day charette kicked off the design process and helped establish a program and site. "Students participated in workshops and also assisted the design team in exploring material choices through a regional material mapping exercise," said Rae. Now completed, Rinker Hall has become a teaching tool for architecture and building construction students. The curriculum integrates tours of the building into courses in sustainable construction.   >>>



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