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Setting the ‘Gold’ Standard at New Mexico State University

March 25, 2013

 Barnes & Noble at New Mexico State University

 

The New Mexico State University (NMSU) Auxiliary Services and Barnes & Noble at New Mexico State University building has been awarded the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, the nation’s foremost non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction.

Changing Building and Communities

The 31,000 square-foot building was recognized for its energy efficiency, green technology and earth-friendly building practices used in its design and construction. This is the eleventh building in the NMSU system to be LEED certified, and the eighth to be awarded gold status.

“Whether it’s the renovation of an existing building or new construction, we’re committed to sustainable design and green construction,” said Max J. Roberts, CEO & President of Barnes & Noble College. “The Barnes & Noble at New Mexico State University’s LEED Gold certification is something we are very proud of.”

Saving Money While Saving the Earth

Workers are pictured putting the finishing touches on the Barnes & Noble at New Mexico State University bookstore in July 2011. The building was just granted LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. (NMSU photo by Kyle Pierson)

Workers are pictured putting the finishing touches on the Barnes & Noble at New Mexico State University bookstore in July 2011. The building was recently granted LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. (NMSU photo by Kyle Pierson)

In 2000, the U.S. Green Building Council developed the LEED program to provide independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health, including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED buildings are designed to lower operating costs and increase asset value, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, be healthier and safer for building occupants, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“LEED buildings provide a long-term benefit to the campus and the environment. When tackling this project, everyone on the team had LEED Silver as a target,” said Tammy Anthony, NMSU assistant vice president for Auxiliary Services. “So in the end, to have reached LEED Gold is a reflection of how hard this team worked. This is very exciting to me and I am very proud of how everyone pulled together to reach higher than our standard of silver.”

Going for the ‘Gold’

In 2006, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed an executive order requiring all future state-funded building projects of more than 15,000 square feet be built to meet LEED Silver standards. Since that order was signed into law, NMSU has met or exceeded that standard for all new buildings completed since then.

Some of the features of a LEED certified building in New Mexico include highly efficient mechanical, electrical and water systems, connectivity to the community, efficient lighting, systems to lower greenhouse gases and xeriscaping, a form of landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation.

“This is the image NMSU should be presenting to our community and our students,” Anthony said. “It means NMSU can be and is on the leading edge of improvements to our environment and meeting higher standards in our buildings.”

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