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Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center receives “green” rating

by Scott Emerson
Senior Writer

Legal Information CenterIt’s green under the bricks and mortar of the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center (LIC). The new addition and renovations to the LIC, classrooms and law library were recently certified as a “green” building by the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification is part of the USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

“This designation is an example of the commitment the University of Florida and the Levin College of Law has to reduce its environmental footprint,” said Robert Jerry, dean and a Levin, Mabie and Levin professor of law. “Not only did we gain and enhance classroom space, we also made energy improvements. As a result, we have provided our current and future students, faculty and staff with a comfortable and sustainable environment.”

The LEED system promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in six key areas of human and environmental health including: site planning; water management; energy management; material use; indoor air quality; and innovation and design.

“Green building construction is an integrated design that is environmentally responsible, profitable in the long term and creates a healthy place to live and work,” said Bahar Armaghani, assistant director at UF’s Facilities Planning & Construction. “This high performance building construction helps to alleviate our carbon footprint caused by making everyday decisions that increase greenhouse gas emissions.”

Part of the efforts that helped UF earn the green rating included redirecting 12,900 tons of construction waste and debris from landfills to be recycled, shade placement, installing water-efficient landscaping and bathroom fixtures, energy efficient lighting systems and using low volatile organic compound carpets, sealants and paints.

The $25 million LIC project completed in 2005 includes two three-story classroom towers between and connecting Holland and Bruton-Geer Halls adding 1,300 new seats. It also includes 87,000 square feet of renovated or new LIC space, and enhanced outdoor spaces.

The building design team working with UF Facilities Planning & Construction consisted of Gainesville architectural firm Ponikvar & Associates and Boston architectural firm Tsoi/Kobus & Associates.

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