The Klaus Advanced Computing Building has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. Originally financed in 2000 by a $15 million donation from internet entrepreneur and Tech alumnus Chris Klaus, the building houses an array of environmentally friendly features.
Currently, the building is home to the College of Computing’s School of Computer Science and Computational Science and Engineering Division, and three research centers.
The U.S. Green Building Council originally developed the LEED certificate to standardize the improvement of environmental and economic performance of buildings in 1998. Architectural firm Perkins and Willis had to meet standards in several areas during to receive a LEED certification such as sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. Points were awarded for observance of each area.
A silver certification ranging from 33 to 38 points was the initial goal according to project manager Ron Leroy. However, the Klaus building ultimately received enough points—42—to win a golden certification. Leroy explained that since anticipating points proved difficult, architects decided to aim for more points needed for a silver certificate.
The Klaus building features 70 laboratories and a three-story parking deck, stretching 414,000 square feet of surface. Environmental amenities, which are responsible for the LEED gold certificate, include an extensive green space, which covers over half of the six-acre site, as well as a storm water collection system for irrigation. Other services include energy efficient heating and cooling systems, waterless urinals, and extensive use of recyclables.
Klaus is the second building to receive a LEED certification, after the College of Management building in Tech Square which received a silver one in 2003. The College of Management was the second in Georgia and the 13th in the nation to receive such an award.
“Georgia Tech was one of the first universities to embrace the LEED guidelines in helping to inform intelligent design decisions during the planning and design process,” said Howard S. Wertheimer, director of Capital Planning and Space Management.
Tech’s Architecture and Engineering Design Standards for Building Technology has committed to a “comprehensive green building program” meaning all future construction will be designed under the influence of LEED requirements. Currently, over ten buildings on campus boast green technologies. In addition to the Klaus and Management buildings, the upcoming construction and renovations to the Women’s Softball Field, Old Civil Engineering building, the 2nd floor of the College of Computing building and North Avenue apartments are also LEED registered.
More projects are in the fundraising, planning, and construction stages to make them more environmentally friendly and efficient.