Green has turned to gold at Rider University, where North Hall, the University’s newest academic building that opened last fall, has been certified Gold by The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.
LEED, which was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Building projects earn points for satisfying specific green-building criteria in five LEED credit categories, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. An additional category, innovation in design, addresses sustainable building expertise and additional design measures. The number of points the project earns determines the level of LEED certification the project receives.
“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. “The North Hall project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”
The 21,000-square-foot North Hall was designed by Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc., an award-winning, full-service architectural and sustainable design firm from Trenton, and constructed by Seacoast Builders of Freehold. Spiezle is noted for its expertise in and commitment to sustainable construction.
“The LEED Gold certification for North Hall exceeded expectations and is a great example of the teamwork and expertise that went into designing and building this project,” said Mike Reca, Rider’s associate vice president for Facilities and Auxiliary Services. “The collaboration between the Spiezle Architectural Group and the Rider team did an outstanding job.”
North Hall is the first strictly academic facility to be built on the Lawrenceville campus since Sweigart Hall in 1988. Its construction was part of a $12.9 million combined project that also includes a large outdoor plaza connecting North Hall to the adjacent Memorial Hall, and a substantial renovation of the Bart Luedeke Center Theater.
The year-old building features nine classrooms, two seminar rooms, 16 faculty and departmental offices, and a multipurpose conference room. Ground was broken in May 2010. While the building is home to Rider’s History and Philosophy department offices, its classrooms serve all programs throughout the University.
Rider pledged to meet the USGBC’s LEED standards when President Mordechai Rozanski signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, directing that all further new campus construction would be LEED certified. Rider’s West Village Residence Halls were certified LEED Silver shortly after their completion in fall 2009.
“Achieving LEED Gold for North Hall just shows how far Rider has come with its green initiatives,” said Melissa Greenberg, sustainability manager at Rider. “This is real proof that with the signing of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, an impact was made, and Rider has chosen to dedicate resources toward achieving the goals that it set out to complete.”
The LEED Gold certification for North Hall is the latest success in Rider’s commitment to being a leader in sustainability among colleges and universities. Earlier this year, Rider was named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada by The Princeton Review, which selected Rider for inclusion in the third annual edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition.