John W. Olver Design Building Earns LEED Gold Certification

UMass Amherst: News Archive

The John W. Olver Design Building, a showcase for best practices in sustainability and state-of-the-art wood construction technology, has been awarded LEED Gold certification.LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification is an official recognition that a project complies with the requirements prescribed within the LEED rating systems as created and maintained by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.
Called the most technologically advanced cross-laminated timber (CLT) building in the country when it opened in 2017, the Design Building houses three academic units: the department of architecture, the Building and Construction Technology Program (BCT) and the department of landscape architecture and regional planning.
Built of CLT timber and glue-laminated columns, the 87,000-square-foot facility saves the equivalent of more than 2,300 metric tons of carbon when compared to a traditional energy-intensive steel and concrete building.
The building’s multi-disciplinary layout, organized around an interior courtyard of exposed timber and an exterior landscaped courtyard and outdoor classroom, fosters collaboration across the disciplines. It intentionally features exposed structural elements and service systems for teaching, while its Trimble Technology Lab provides advanced tools for design research and development.
“The Olver building is remarkable for its innovative construction and sustainable design,” said Shane Conklin, associate vice chancellor for Facilities and Campus Services, “and its LEED Gold certification is confirmation of our commitment to responsible stewardship not only of our campus but of our environment.”
Marta Bouchard of Atelier Ten, the university’s sustainability consultant on the building, wrote: “This project’s LEED certification was incredibly successful thanks to the collaborative efforts of the entire team. The university’s commitments to sustainability were evident since the initial meetings in 2013 and the goal for high-performance design and operation has been unwavering through design, construction and continuing on today with building measurement and verification.”
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