Villanova Law Brings Home the Gold
Villanova Law School's new building has been awarded Gold Certification, the second highest level in the five-tiered Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process. LEED certification involves an extremely rigorous process that measures sustainability by taking into account energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials used, sustainable site development and water savings.
Sustainable planning began before construction, and continued through move-in and use. For example, every effort was made to procure materials from suppliers within a 500 mile radius of the construction site. The asphalt removed from the old parking lot was ground up on site and compacted under the new law school's foundation. In addition to the individual room occupancy lighting sensors, large area lighting and outside glass envelopes were designed to consider ambient light continuously in order to increase energy savings. The white membrane roofing system also helps control heat and cold, again, lowering energy consumption. Heating and cooling units are highly-efficient. All of these features are tied together by a digitally-automated building management system that should consume at least 30% less energy when compared to conventional technology. Restroom fixtures and overall plumbing should lower water use by 40%. The landscaping around the building incorporated native plantings, runoff was carefully managed and premium parking spots were reserved for alternative fuel vehicles to encourage their use. Bike racks and showers were included as incentives to not drive.
"Through careful design and planning Villanova and The SmithGroup built a stunning facility, one of the finest in legal education today. Superbly suited for providing a 21st century legal education and for nurturing the sense of community that is a hallmark of Villanova Law, the building also maintains our commitment to environmental stewardship," said Acting Dean Doris DelTosto Brogan. " Villanova University President Father Peter Donohue was one of the first to sign the American College & University President's Climate Commitment with a goal of becoming a carbon-neutral campus, and a related goal of making all of its new construction and renovation projects LEED certified. The law school is a shining example of this commitment," she added.