FAU gets ‘green’ gift for new engineering building

Florida Atlantic University has received a “green” gift to support a new “green” building on its Boca Raton campus.

FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science recently received a $50,000 planning grant from The Kresge Foundation Green Building Initiative to help fund construction of the first building in a proposed engineering complex on the university’s main campus.

“We are very excited to be the first to plan a platinum level LEED certified building in the State University System,” said College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean Karl Stevens. “This project is providing a learning experience for our engineering students, faculty and staff by having them participate in the entire building process.”

This project, he said, is being designed to qualify for platinum level certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system of the U.S. Green Building Council. This facility is expected to be the first platinum level certified building in the state of Florida, said university officials.

The college’s green building will be a showcase and “living laboratory” for sustainable development, said Stevens. The new building will provide faculty, staff and students with a comfortable, healthy environment.

The Kresge Foundation Green Building Initiative advances environmental conservation by awarding planning grants for sustainable design. Environmental conservation, including sustainable building practices, environmental stewardship and sound land-use planning, is a core value of The Kresge Foundation.

University leaders said the engineering complex will place FAU, the college and the South Florida community at the national forefront of efforts in energy conservation and design of sustainable infrastructure.

In addition to serving as an energy and environmental teaching and research center for the university and local K-14 communities, officials said it will provide hands-on education and information about vital environmental and energy issues to the public and to students at all levels.

The various measures and simple practices in their routine academic life that have the capacity to create a difference in the pro-environment lives of the current generations will emerge out through the project.

Do you agree as an independent person to all the plans put forth by a sustainable plan or do you prefer practicing a common green norm integrated into your routine? The FAU project pins on the latter.  The building is being designed to serve an anticipated enrollment of 3,000 students, a faculty of 100 and a funded research activity of $25 million annually.

The groundbreaking (or ground “greening”) is scheduled for the fall of 2008 with expected completion at the end of 2009.

Schwab, Twitty & Hanser is the architectural firm and James A. Cummings, Inc., part of the Perini Corporation, is the construction manager. LEED consulting is provided by Green Building Services.

Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers courses in bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, geomatics engineering, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering.