Stuckeman Family Building receives top national rating for sustainability

August 31, 2006

University Park, Pa. -- The Stuckeman Family Building for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture has been awarded a Gold Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

It is one of the first buildings on any college campus to earn this certification, which distinguishes building projects that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability by meeting the highest performance standards.

The Stuckeman Family Building, which opened in summer 2005, was the first Penn State building designed to be LEED certified. Among other factors, it was recognized for integration of the building and site design, use of natural light, fitness for the regional climate, use of low-maintenance planting materials, use of recycled materials and certified wood, and a ventilation system that reduces the need for mechanical heating and cooling.

During construction, the project followed a rigorous program to reduce waste and limit site disturbance. The energy-efficient design of the 111,000-square-foot building is projected to reduce its annual energy costs by 35 percent compared to a conventionally designed structure.

Dan Willis, head of the Department of Architecture, points out that the ratings system, in addition to addressing the construction process and the building itself, takes into account how the building and site are used and maintained, and how people get to the building.

"We even received points (in the ratings system) for using the building and its surroundings as teaching tools in our courses."

According to Brian Orland, head of the Department of Landscape Architecture, the Gold Rating -- while exciting -- tells only part of the story.

"True sustainability will occur only when buildings and their landscapes also delight their occupants and beautify their surroundings. The Stuckeman Family Building has emphatically scored 'gold' in those areas."

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009