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Central Washington University

CWU strikes Gold again when it comes to green construction

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

CWU has, again, been acknowledged for its demonstrated commitment to sustainability. University officials have learned that CWU’s Science II has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) NC (for new construction) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED is widely considered the world’s leader in green-building ratings, as it provides independent verification of a facility’s true environmental footprint.

“A high LEED rating can be challenging to achieve for STEM buildings that require frequent air changes,” said Andreas Bohman, CWU vice president of CWU Operations. “Since Science II falls into this category and contains several fume hoods with high exhaust rates, the fact that it received a gold certification is an indicator of our commitment to sustainability on campus and a credit to the team.”

The university planned for specific sustainability features within Science II, including reduced energy and water consumption, and increased reuse and recycling in construction and among daily users. Those goals have been attained. The 119,330 square-foot facility has achieved documented energy savings of nearly 38 percent, water savings of nearly 45 percent, and a 95-percent reduction in recycled waste.

Joanne Hillemann, CWU Science II project manager and LEED Accredited Professional, added, “Our original LEED target was Silver certification, so I’m extremely pleased that we have been able to significantly exceed energy code requirements and achieve Gold.”

The $64 million structure includes the university’s planetarium, observatory, and such specialized equipment and facilities as a scanning electron microscope, optics and laser labs, an ice core lab, and an acoustic lab with an anechoic chamber, which absorbs all sound. It opened for fall 2016 classes.

Science II is home to the university’s geological sciences, physics and science education programs. It is part of the university’s science neighborhood, which includes Science I, online since 1998, the remodeled Dean Hall, which reopened in 2009, and Samuelson Hall an integrated computer science technology center housing the departments of computer science, sociology, mathematics, Information Technology and Administrative Management, and Multimodal Learning. LEED certification is also being sought for Samuelson.

“Sustainable operational practices are important for CWU and our surrounding communities,” Shane Scott, associate vice president for Campus Planning and Facilities Management pointed out. “LEED is one of the premier sustainable programs that is executed through Central’s operations division.”

Of the buildings on CWU’s Ellensburg campus, Dean and Hogue halls previously received LEED Gold NC certifications, while Barto Hall was awarded LEED Platinum status, the highest possible, in the mid-rise homes category. 

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,

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