Green at Heart

Haas building earns highest marks possible for efficiency and environmental efforts

Haas building earns highest marks possible for efficiency and environmental efforts

It’s official: Chou Hall is the country’s greenest academic building, having earned TRUE Zero Waste certification at the highest possible level along with a LEED Platinum certification for its energy-efficient design and operation.

The TRUE Platinum Zero Waste certification came after more than a year of dedicated waste sorting, composting, and other efforts to divert over 90 percent of Chou’s landfill waste. The official notice came from Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) in December, following an on-site audit by the U.S. Green Building Council.

About 25 percent of the more than 100 TRUE-certified facilities have achieved TRUE Platinum. Chou Hall is the only academic building to achieve the honor. The Chou team earned 69 out of the 70 credits they applied for, providing a narrative and evidence for each credit. Credits included such efforts as composting food scraps, tracking the purchase of environmentally preferred products, providing employees with access to zero-waste training, and reducing the use of hazardous-waste chemicals.

Separately, GBCI also announced this month that Chou received LEED Platinum certification for its architectural design, construction, and functioning of the building. Chou earned 85 points, well above the 80 points required for the platinum rating. Points are allotted in areas such as water efficiency, energy use, construction materials, indoor environmental quality, and design innovation.

Haas is also pursuing a third designation, WELL certification, given to buildings that promote user health and well-being.