Florida State University’s new Life Sciences Teaching & Research Center, formally dedicated Sept. 12, is not only a facility for health education, but conforms to environmentally sound construction practices as one of the first green buildings on campus.
The center, which totals 191,171 square feet, was finished in June by Tallahassee’s LLT Building Corp. It is one of the recently completed construction projects at FSU expecting a LEED certification for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.
“It just makes good business sense to build green,” said Ron Drapeau, LLT vice president and senior project manager. “Green buildings have less environmental impact; a cleaner, healthier work and study environment; improved efficiency and lower operating costs.”
To reduce campus energy consumption, FSU’s Department of Facilities Design and Construction is promoting healthy, energy-and resource-efficient building practices with all future construction.
In particular, the department is implementing green construction practices and seeking LEED building certification for projects.
“Green building owners can save up to 90 cents a square foot annually, on average, in energy and other costs, and can usually earn back their investment in 2 to 2.5 years,” Drapeau said.
LEED is a performance-oriented rating system where building projects earn points for satisfying criteria that address environmental impacts in the design, construction, operations and management of the building.
Named in honor of state Sen. James E. “Jim” King, the center was designed by architectural firm Elliott Marshall Innes of Tallahassee. Total project cost was $55.8 million, which included construction, design fees, furnishings and equipment.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program is organized into six categories and the Life Sciences Center will earn points under all of them: Sustainable Site, Water efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design.
LLT accrued points for the project in various ways. The company obtained more than 40 percent of the construction materials from within 500 miles of the job site, which reduced transportation costs and exhaust emissions, lowering the building’s carbon footprint.