The College earned its first LEED Gold Certification in 2016 for the renovations of the Durst Humanities building based on the building’s energy efficient design, construction and operation. However, the green building history of the College dates back to 2006 with the construction of the Fort Awesome Residence Hall. Fort Awesome was built to LEED standards but was unable to obtain official accreditation due to high costs of certification.

LEED Accreditation: What is LEED?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the most popular green building certification and is acknowledged worldwide. Developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides the framework and a rating system for the design, construction, operation and maintenance for green buildings. LEED buildings focus on reducing building environmental impact, increasing water and energy efficiency, building with sustainable materials while improving indoor air quality of its occupants. This certification process ensures that the building is highly efficient, healthy and economically sustainable. There are various tiers to the rating system from simply being certified to being certified LEED Platinum.

LEED at Purchase:

The College renovated the Durst Family Humanities building in 2015-2016 to become the college’s first LEED certified building. To see how the building earned its credits there are various signs posted throughout the building to note the sustainable features. 

This year, Purchase completed two new LEED buildings. The first one, the Center for Media, Film and Theatre (CMFT), is an academic building which will be used for new media, film and theater students while the second building, Wayback, will be for additional student housing. The academic building is being designed to LEED Gold standards, the second highest designation possible. Both buildings will feature many sustainable attributes such recycled building materials, rain gardens and solar panels to meet LEED certification standards. In order to maintain credentials, regular maintenance, surveys and green policies will be implemented.