Monninger Center awarded prestigious LEED Gold Certification
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded LEED Gold status to Fairleigh Dickinson University’s newest academic building, the John and Joan Monninger Center for Learning and Research at the College at Florham in Madison, N.J.
“The University chose to design and construct the new Monninger Center building to LEED standards as a LEED building’s performance is much more efficient from a utility consumption perspective and because it is the right thing to do,” says Dick Frick, associate vice president for facilities.
FDU achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
“We have been extremely pleased with the miniscule increase in both utility consumption and cost,” says Frick. “The efficient, tight building envelope, efficient fixtures and equipment, automatic light dimming functionality, and use of natural light all contribute to the efficiency of the building. Everyone involved in the project succeeded in creating a building that clearly contributes to the success of the academic programs in an environmentally sound space."
The LEED Gold certification was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:
- A 20-kilowatt solar panel on the roof
- Exterior venetian blind-style sun shades to keep out the heat from sunlight
- Highly efficient glass and insulated panels throughout the building
- A very large skylight in the lobby that lets in natural light
- Small windows high in the building that allow for a great deal of natural light without the sun’s heat
- The HVAC and boilers are highly efficient and comply with LEED requirements
- Two bike racks outside and two shower stalls in the building encourage faculty, students and staff to ride bicycles to campus
- The roof is very well insulated and made of reflective materials, eliminating heat gain or cooling loss.
- Water fountains are designed for the easy refill of water bottles
- All paints, adhesives, and building products (sheetrock, carpet, etc.) are all either free of volatile organic compounds or contain only trace amounts.
“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, FDU’s Monninger Center is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”
The Monninger Center opened in January 2013 and houses the campus library, the Academic Support Center, the college writing program, a 90-seat lecture hall, several smart classrooms, and study areas for students. What makes the classrooms “smart” is the technology embedded in them. The classrooms have the capability to record and archive class sessions, making it possible for students to review the classes later on, as well as 80-inch touch panel monitors that also double as whiteboards (and store the information written on them).
Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design. LEED can be applied to all building types, including new construction, commercial interiors, core and shell developments, existing buildings, homes, neighborhood developments, schools and retail facilities.