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Thursday, August 9, 2007

FAU picks contractor to build ‘green’ engineering building

Florida Atlantic University has chosen James A. Cummings Inc., a contractor with offices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando, as construction manager for the new College of Engineering Building on the Boca Raton campus.

"What makes this complex unique is that it will be submitted to the United States Green Building Council for certification as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified 'Platinum' level," said Nicole Flier, director of business development in Palm Beach County for the firm. Platinum is the highest of four levels of environmental friendliness.

"Upon successful completion, this project will be one of the first to obtain the prestigious distinction of 'Platinum' level in the State of Florida," she said.

The new engineering building is one of several projects in Boca Raton being considered for the "green" environmentally friendly designation. The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at FAU is also in the process of being certified, and several other structures are also in line for green certification.

A lot of hype

The engineering building "is our first platinum building," said Flier. She said the firm is planning "a lot of hype," and will also work with the university to conduct a fundraiser for it.

Flier explained that while plans call for the College of Engineering complex to have 250,000 square feet of new construction, the initial phase will contain between 80,000 and 100,000 square feet.

"This will include classroom and laboratory spaces as well as administrative areas along with a super computing center and the 'Center for Innovation Leadership,"' she said.

"What also makes this building unique is that it will be a 'living, learning' laboratory," Flier added. "Students will be able to learn about green building concepts from the use of educational plaques, which will be located throughout the complex."

Some of these features may include the use of enhanced indoor environmental controls, high efficiency exterior wall systems, solar panels, high efficiency plumbing and wastewater systems, xeriscaping, a storm water collection system to reduce water usage and other techniques will be considered into the design.

She said the estimated start date is early 2008 with an anticipated completion date of fall 2009.

James A. Cummings Inc. has built hundreds of millions of dollars worth of educational, governmental, industrial and private facilities including the construction of more than 45 K-12 facilities.

About LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

What is LEED?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

LEED provides a roadmap for measuring and documenting success for every building type and phase of a building lifecycle. Specific LEED programs include:

USGBC is also developing LEED for Healthcare, and LEED for Labs.

We also have the LEED Resources page which has informative PowerPoint presentations, brochures, and case studies, as well as LEED News and LEED-Online sample credit templates.

How is LEED Developed?
The LEED Rating System was created to transform the built environment to sustainability by providing the building industry with consistent, credible standards for what constitutes a green building. The rating system is developed and continuously refined via an open, consensus-based process that has made LEED the green building standard of choice for Federal agencies and state and local governments nationwide. Click here for more information on the LEED Development Process.

What is LEED Certification?
The first step to LEED certification is to Register your project. A project is a viable candidate for LEED certification if it can meet all prerequisites and achieve the minimum number of points to earn the Certified level of LEED project certification. To earn certification, a building project must meet certain prerequisites and performance benchmarks ("credits") within each category. Projects are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification depending on the number of credits they achieve. This comprehensive approach is the reason LEED-certified buildings have reduced operating costs, healthier and more productive occupants, and conserve our natural resources.

Note for Product Manufacturers and Service Providers:
Although USGBC does not certify, promote, or endorse products and services of individual companies, products and services do play a role and can help projects with credit achievement. (Note that products and services do not earn projects points.) Learn more here about how you and your company can help advance green building, while also achieving your own environmental and economic goals.

Who Can Use LEED?
Everyone: Architects, real estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, construction managers, lenders, government officials...

The LEED program also includes a full suite of training workshops and a Professional Accreditation program to develop and encourage green building expertise across the entire building industry.

Contact LEED Customer Service at 1-800-795-1747 or

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