UCF has taken a major step in the journey to achieving and exceeding our Climate Action Plan’s sustainability goals. This past January, UCF achieved Campus credits under the Master Site Operations and Maintenance (O+M) v4 rating system that satisfy the basic requirements for all on campus buildings to begin certification. Read on to learn more about UCF’s steps to becoming a sustainable campus with LEED!
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® green building program is the most widely used rating system in the world, detailing the criteria needed to create high performance buildings. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ and is globally recognized for having the optimum standards for green building. The Campus approach acheives credits for all future LEED projects registered within UCF campus boundary. Click here to view the various credits UCF achieved!
LEED Building Design and Construction (BD+C) applies to new construction and major renovation projects. UCF has committed to achieving a minimum certification of LEED Gold for all newly constructed buildings and was awarded with LEED BD+C credits in 2017. LEED certified buildings offer many benefits including environmental, economic, and occupant health improvements. The improved performance is due to the physical design and construction of the building, which is why LEED standards are a priority for UCF moving forward.
Along with achieving LEED Campus O+M credits, UCF has taken strides to achieve our goal for all major education buildings to be LEED Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EBOM) certified by 2045. Existing buildings may not have been built to meet LEED standards, however they can be fine-tuned or renovated to achieve LEED level performance. Retrofitting and updating operations to meet LEED standards is a great way to improve our existing infrastructure and ensure longevity of building materials. Other beneficial policies include requirements for all new office equipment to meet or exceed ENERGY STAR ratings, the use of Green Seal cleaning products, and tracking all energy use data using Energy Star Portfolio Manager. You can view the statistics and resource consumption of UCF buildings on the Open Energy Information System.
Operations and Maintenance (O+M) applies to the day-to-day activities that enable building systems to perform efficiently, which is where our Facilities and Safety team comes in! UCF relies on all team members engaging in sustainable practices when managing pests, overseeing waste, applying chemicals, and making product purchases. Many of our faculty and staff have taken the initiative to learn more about reducing our footprint through our Sustainable Training Series.
We offer in-person tours of UCF’s LEED certified facilities including the District Energy Plant IV. USGBC Central Florida has opportunities for students to engage in conferences, tours, and LEED exam prep courses for students looking to learn more about green building. For more sustainable RSO’s, organizations, and opportunities, check out our student involvement page.
Every individual action contributes to the meeting sustainability goals on campus. Energy saving habits made by students, faculty, and staff within buildings can impact the carbon footprint of our campus immensely. Students and participate in the annual Kill-A-Watt Energy Saving Competition, where on campus residents compete to reduce their energy use for scholarships. Every year, small behavioral changes made by students accumulate to save the university thousands of kilowatt hours and money that can be put back into the school.
Take advantage of student discounts for LEED accreditation; it is very beneficial to understand the various performance measures and rating systems. Never underestimate your impact, and keep your eye out for new and existing LEED buildings on campus!