Public invited to celebration recognizing achievement April 4

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The College of Public Health Building at the University of Iowa has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest standard for green design. It is the first academic building on campus to earn the designation.

The College of Public Health's commitment to environmental sustainability is closely tied to the educational and service mission of the college, and reflects the proven connection between a healthy environment and sound public health.

Sue Curry
Sue Curry

“This Platinum designation for the new College of Public Health building underscores the learning and the research that take place here every day, and provides a highly visible sign of our university’s deep commitment to caring for our environment and the people we serve,” says Sue Curry, dean of the College of Public Health. “We’re grateful to everyone on the building project team, whose creativity and innovation made this possible.”

A celebration of the LEED Platinum certification will be held at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the Callaghan Auditorium (N110) of the College of Public Health Building. The event is free and open to the campus community and the general public.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is the nationally-recognized benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of eco-friendly, sustainable buildings. It provides independent verification that buildings are built in an environmentally responsible manner and measures sustainability in site selection, water efficiency, energy sources and consumption, materials and resources, air quality, and other environmental considerations.

The College of Public Health Building incorporates numerous sustainable principles, such as:

  • reflective roofing,
  • maximal use of natural lighting,
  • storm drainage that uses vegetation and landscaping rather than curbs and gutters,
  • low maintenance and zero irrigation landscape design ,
  • waste reduction and recycling practices,
  • occupancy sensors in offices and other common areas to provide lighting as needed,
  • proximity to public transportation routes, and
  • water use reduction through low-flow plumbing.

During demolition of the former UI International Center building, which previously occupied the site:

  • 97 percent of non-hazardous debris was diverted from the landfill and repurposed through recycling centers, and
  • dust from the demolition process was specially managed and kept to a minimum.

Completed in 2011, the $47.7 million, five-story, 142,000-square-feet facility houses the college’s five academic departments: biostatistics, community and behavioral health, epidemiology, health management and policy, and occupational and environmental health.

Designed by Payette of Boston and Rohrbach Associates PC of Iowa City, the building has elements of granite, limestone, wood, and glass prominently featured throughout, and is designed to complement existing university buildings and the natural environment of the site. Builders used 23 percent recycled materials, while 22 percent of the materials were regionally manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. About half the wood products used were certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council's principles and criteria.

The College of Public Health Building is the second LEED platinum building at the UI. The Information Technology Facility on the UI Research Park campus received LEED Platinum certification in June 2012, according to UI Facilities Management. To date, five UI buildings have achieved LEED Gold status. LEED certification is one of the ways the UI is seeking to achieve its 2020 Vision goal of net-negative energy growth on campus.The UI has set a minimum standard of LEED Silver certification for all new construction and major renovations.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in the April 4 event, contact Jennifer Barnes at or at 319-384-1500 in advance.