We are thrilled to share that Notre Dame's Riley Center for STEM Education is LEED Silver Certified under the new Version 4 LEED Building Design and Construction rating system. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) provides a framework for efficient, healthy and innovative buildings, and is globally recognized as a symbol of sustainability. The STEM Center represents an educational case study for students and an example of how to perpetuate environmental and social responsibility, and most importantly, supports the Academy's mission to inspire young women to inquire, explore, imagine and innovate.
A LEED-certified building has several environmental, health and economic benefits, including lower CO2 emissions, less energy consumed, and millions of toxins of avoided CO2 emissions. These health benefits are critical, especially for school projects, and LEED creates healthier spaces with cleaner air and spaces clear of harmful chemicals found in many building projects.
Dr. Dwyer, Head of School, shares, "This LEED designation testifies to Notre Dame's deep commitment to protect and improve all aspects of the environment for the health and well being of present and future generations."
Every single human being should have a safe and healthy place to live, work, learn and play. Improved health and productivity play a large role in the school's desire to invest in the LEED process and a green building.
A number of strategies were incorporated into the STEM Center, contributing to the LEED certification, including a white roof, which reduces the heat island effect on-site, lessening the impacts to plants and animals affected by temperature changes and promoting better human health and comfort. In addition, the project demonstrates great accomplishments in stormwater management. Reducing stormwater runoff is important for preventing groundwater contamination and reducing stress on infrastructure. Through the use of native landscape features and low-flow fixtures, the project uses no irrigation and reduces indoor water use, helping to protect our drinking resources, limit stress on water supply and wastewater treatment of infrastructure and maintain healthy ecosystems.
LEED Certification is granted by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), which handles the verification of the project's compliance with the desired LEED requirements.