Tulane and Yale Structures Earn Top Ten Green Building Awards

NWF   |   August 26, 2008

The American Institute of Architects’ COTE (Committee on the Environment) recognizes 10 high-profile and environmentally sensitive buildings each year, and for 2008 chose two university buildings to highlight in its Top Ten list.

Tulane University’s Lavin-Bernick Center, originally built in 1959 and in the midst of the rebuilding process when Hurricane Katrina hit, is now the center of student life. Incorporating lounges, a bookstore, conference rooms, offices, and a performing venue, the building is almost 40 percent larger than the previous center, for a generous total of 151,000 square feet. Often cited as an inspiration to the university and surrounding New Orleans, the building is full of light, with a design that hints at permeability and its connection to the history of the area. Green components include extensive daylighting, a shading system to reduce indoor temperatures, solar-powered vents to exhaust hot air, and water-retaining walls, but the university has not provided numbers for its annual energy usage or carbon emissions, and is not LEED-certified.

By contrast, Yale’s new Sculpture Gallery was designed to fit LEED-Platinum standards from the beginning, although it received some local criticism for its unusual siting, which was conceived to maximize daylight rather than cater to the street. Earning maximum points for water conservation and indoor air quality, the building incorporates a rain garden, porous asphalt, a green roof, modified faucets and toilets, operable windows, and an air monitoring system. The building also earned points for innovation—a wall that opens to the street and a striated façade that nods to its neighbor’s Gothic style—but lagged farthest behind in LEED’s energy category by only earning nine of a possible 17 points. Energy-saving features, such as daylighting, occupancy sensors, and argon gas-filled window panels, were included, which are estimated to keep the building’s carbon emissions at 6.4 lbs of CO2 per square foot, a 43 percent reduction from the simulated base case.

See More:

Lavin-Bernick Center Case StudyGreenSource

Lavin-Bernick CenterTulane University

Yale Sculpture Gallery Case Study GreenSource

Yale Sculpture Building Yale Sustainability

COTE Top Ten Green Projects AIA