Sept. 16, 2014
Faculty, staff, students, and administrators gathered Monday, Sept. 15, to acknowledge the Edward M. Crough Center for Architectural Studies being designated LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (EB: O+M) certified. It is the first building in the world to be certified by students as part of a formal course.
Speakers at the event included University President John Garvey and Randall Ott, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning. Mahesh Ramanujam, chief operating officer of the U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC) presented the LEED Certified plaque to be installed in the Crough Center.
The building - which was originally built in 1919 as a gymnasium - was certified by students taking LEED Lab. The course was established by Patricia Andrasik, assistant professor of architecture, in 2011 as part of a pilot project with USGBC's Center for Green Schools and the Green Building Certification Institute.
The goal of Andrasik's project was to establish a process by which LEED EB: O+M certification could be aligned within coursework to allow students to facilitate the process. She created a curriculum at Catholic University that now serves as a model for other schools.
Students in LEED Lab worked with University administrators, building occupants, and personnel in the Office of Facilities Management to implement greener alternatives such as installing aerators on sinks in order to use less water and turning the lights off in the building during the day when sunlight is sufficient.
Due to the success at Catholic University, USGBC has officially made LEED Lab available to all higher education institutions. Schools currently offering the course include Colorado State University, Pueblo; NC State University; Purdue University; University of California Santa Barbara; University of Florida; and University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Since completing their work to certify the Crough Center, students in LEED Lab have directed their efforts to LEED EB: O+M certify Opus Hall, a residence hall.