East Academic Building receives eco-certification


The East Academic Building (EAB) earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification on Aug. 30, making it the first building on campus to receive gold certification.

The EAB’s gold certification, the second highest LEED rating, is one of the many steps the university has taken towards becoming an eco-friendly campus. Campus sustainability has been promoted through the Culture of Green project, the annual Recyclemania and several other environmentally friendly projects, all of which can be found on Webster’s sustainability web page.

According to the U.S. Green Buildings website, the LEED program is a green building tool aimed to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, maintained and operated across the globe.

The EAB is one of 31 buildings in the St. Louis region to receive a gold level, according to a Webster Today press release. It was opened in March 2012 and cost the university $29 million.

Sustainability Coordinator Brad Wolaver said the EAB’s LEED gold certification sets a standard for the university.

“It (the building) was designed to be a LEED silver building but throughout the process, using the architects of the construction management company, they discovered we could achieve LEED gold. I think we achieved a real standard,” Wolaver said.

Wolaver said Webster aims to bring the campus up to the LEED standard, whether it be gold or silver rating. He said the university aims to do this through the LEED programs several different kinds of certifications; committing new buildings to LEED standards and upgrading old building to meet accreditation requirements.

“We’ve committed, this university, to energy efficiency and improved environmental health. With that we would like to see future buildings be LEED certified,” Wolaver said. “I don’t think we’ve committed necessarily to that level. If we can achieve silver on all of those buildings, great. If we achieve gold, that’s even better.”

Webster added solar-powered trash cans that compact recyclables, replaced the lights in Grant Gynasium with LED lights, which take the same amount of power but are brighter, in an effort to achieve sustainability prior to the LEED certification according to a press release on Webster Today. The university also established a deal with Metrobus and Metrolink allowing students, faculty and staff to ride for free.

Green certified buildings also use less electricity and are, in some cases, cheaper to power.On average, the university could 30 percent on energy and up to 50 percent on drinkable water compared to conventional buildings, according to a press release on Webster Today.

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