The University of Florida’s Clinical and Translational Research Building has become the third building on campus to achieve platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, signifying it meets the highest standards for environmentally friendly design.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is an internationally recognized third-party certification program that rates the sustainability of buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council developed the program in 2000.
Buildings are rated on a point scale of one to 110, with points awarded for categories such as water efficiency and indoor environmental quality. Platinum is the highest level of certification, covering buildings with scores of 80 or more.
Other UF buildings with platinum LEED certification include an expansion to the southwest side of the UF football stadium, which was finished in 2008, and the UF Research and Academic Center at Lake Nona in Orlando.
“LEED Platinum certification is a tremendous accomplishment, and we congratulate and thank everyone involved in that journey. It’s great to come to work every day and see our health mission reflected in our physical space,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., assistant vice president for collaborative research in the life sciences and director of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute is one of the major occupants of the CTRB, along with the Institute on Aging and several other research groups from different parts of campus. The $45 million, 120,000-square-foot building, located at 2004 Mowry Road, opened in August 2013. The building’s main purpose is to bring together research teams from different scientific spheres.
Bahar Armaghani, the assistant director and project manager with the UF Office of Planning, Design & Construction, as well as the director of UF’s LEED program, said UF had specified during the planning stages of construction that it wanted the building to be platinum-certified.Sustainability was at the forefront during construction of the CTRB. Eighty-six percent of construction waste was recycled, and the building itself was built with 33.3 percent recycled materials. Almost all materials and services for construction were taken from within 500 miles of Gainesville.
Armaghani said features of the CTRB that qualify it to reach platinum certification include a solar power system that fuels 3 percent of the building, light control and motion sensors that can adjust how much light is needed in the building depending on the time of day, and landscaping that uses only native Florida plants.
Armaghani said the building reduced water use by 43 percent due to efficient practices. The CTRB is located near a chilled water plant, which allows for 100 percent of the building’s wastewater to be treated and used for irrigation.
“Designing a building that will exceed the highest standards of sustainable design was part of our winning strategy to submit a highly competitive grant to the National Institutes of Health for the funding and construction of the Institute on Aging and CTRB,” said Marco Pahor, M.D., the director of the Institute on Aging.
The building was funded in part through a $15 million grant from the NIH.