By Ed Brennen
The university’s North Campus Innovation District has struck gold once again.
The Pulichino Tong Business Center has received LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the rating system used by the council to evaluate the environmental performance of buildings and encourage sustainable design.
Pulichino Tong, which opened in April and is home to the Manning School of Business, is the university’s second LEED Gold building. The other is its North Campus Innovation District neighbor, the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC).
“The Pulichino Tong Business Center has been a transformational addition for the university and exemplifies our commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable growth,” says Assoc. Vice Chancellor for Facilities Thomas Dreyer. “To become LEED Gold certified was a multifaceted effort. We are incredibly proud of our creative and talented project team and its success.”
Jean Robinson, director of capital projects, facilities management and planning, says the LEED Gold designation is a testament to the work of everyone involved, including the Information Technology, Environmental and Emergency Management, Parking and Transportation, and Facilities Management departments, as well as UCard, Access and Parking Services (UCAPS).
“They all played important roles in the design, development and construction review process to ensure that the many unique features of this building met the needs of our campus,” Robinson says.
Designed by Cambridge Seven Associates, the four-story, 54,800-square-foot building includes sustainable features such as occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting, “chilled beams” for heating and cooling, and a solar wall to preheat the intake air. Dreyer says the project also earned LEED points by recycling materials from the demolition of Eames Hall, which was torn down to make way for the new building.
LEED scores buildings in nine categories, including energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, water efficiency, innovation in design and sustainable sites. A building’s overall score determines which LEED designation it receives: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.
The university currently has three LEED Silver buildings: University Crossing, University Suites and the Health and Social Sciences Building.
Three other campus buildings – Bourgeois Hall, Leitch Hall and Fox Dining Hall – have been receiving upgrades to lighting, plumbing and heating systems as part of the university’s three-year Accelerated Energy Plan. They are targeted to receive LEED Silver designation once completed.
Since the university adopted its Climate Action Plan in 2012, full time enrollment has increased by 26 percent and gross square footage has increased by 20 percent. At the same time, total campus emissions have decreased by 8 percent.
Rich Lemoine, executive director of administrative services and environmental and emergency management, attributes this to the university’s emphasis on sustainability leadership and its implementation of climate change initiatives that reduce its carbon footprint.
“The Pulichino Tong building complements the university’s strategic plan,” says Lemoine, who credits the “administration, designers, project management team, facilities department and contractors for all their exemplary efforts and support.”
Manning Dean Sandy Richtermeyer was thrilled to share news of Pulichino Tong’s LEED Gold status with students, faculty and staff.
“We are so proud to be able to say that we learn, teach and work in a building that has been recognized as a model for energy efficiency and sustainability,” says Richtermeyer, whose school will soon be hanging the LEED Gold plaque on the wall of the building’s Colella Atrium.