April 19, 2010

Bloomberg School awarded LEED gold for green building project

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has received LEED gold certification for a commercial interior project from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. This is the first LEED certification for the Bloomberg School and the first gold certification for the university.

LEED gold was awarded for the construction of new offices for the Center for a Livable Future, a 3,000-square-foot office space on the seventh floor of the Bloomberg School’s main building in East Baltimore.

The office was completed in October 2009 and is an example of how sustainability and recycled building materials can be incorporated into a renovation project. The interior partitions were built using metal framing with a high-recycled content and insulated using recycled denim fabric rather than fiberglass. The drywall contains recycled paper, with studs made from recycled metals. The construction also used low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, glues and solvents. The majority of wood, including the desktops, came from Forest Stewardship Council–certified sustainable forests. In addition, energy-saving devices such as light sensors, occupancy-sensing lighting and efficient heating and air-conditioning systems were used. The majority of computers and equipment are Energy Star–rated.

“This project was a perfect example of how an integrated design team should function with the architects, building contractors, facilities management and [client] working together to build a green work environment,” said Jonas Risen, who designed the renovation for Ziger/Snead LLP Architects. “Every decision in the construction process has an influence on the next decision, which is why green design needs to start at the beginning of a project and involve all partners.”

Robert S. Lawrence, director of CLF and the school’s Center for a Livable Future Professor in Environmental Health Sciences, said, “Renovating our new space to meet LEED standards was an important affirmation of our mission to ‘promote policies that protect health, the global environment and the ability to sustain life for future generations.’ We are grateful to the entire team that made certification at the gold level a reality.”