Gatewood Wing earns LEED Gold certification

September 23, 2011

The landscaping around the new Gatewood Wing of Mechanical Engineering is based on native plants which require less water. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's new Roger B. Gatewood Wing of Mechanical Engineering has earned LEED® Gold certification as a green building.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is awarded through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to building owners who implement practical and measurable green design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

The Gatewood Wing, Purdue's first LEED-certified building, opened for the fall semester.

"Achieving LEED Gold certification for the Gatewood Wing puts Purdue at the forefront of the movement for sustainability and environmental responsibility," President France A. Córdova said.

Using a point system, USGBC awards certification at four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

"The Gatewood Wing project's achievement of LEED Gold is a symbol of Purdue's commitment to a more sustainable future," said Michael Gulich, Purdue director of sustainability. "The entire project team did a great job with the LEED certification process and ultimately achieved all 43 points which were submitted to USGBC for review."

USGBC is a non-profit organization composed of leaders from every sector of the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.

The atrium of the new Gatewood Wing is flooded with natural light from energy-efficient windows. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)

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"LEED certification identifies the Roger B. Gatewood Wing of Mechanical Engineering as a pioneering example of sustainable design and demonstrates Purdue's leadership in transforming the building industry," said Rick Federizzi, USGBC president, CEO and founding chairman.

Purdue project manager Chris Skiba said energy efficiency and sustainability features are found throughout the building. Some will be easy for those using the building to notice, such as sensors that turn lights off when no one is in a room and low-flow toilets. The building's design includes natural light pouring in from energy-efficient windows. The landscaping is built around native plants that don't require much water.

But the efforts stretch back to the beginning. A large quantity of construction debris was recycled, with more than 90 percent diverted from landfills. And some of the building materials incorporate recycled content or regional material from nearby manufacturers, which reduces energy use for transportation.

Scholer Corporation of Lafayette was the project architect, and R.L. Turner of Zionsville was the general contractor.

A kiosk in the first-floor lobby will provide visitors with a look at the LEED qualities of the building. A second kiosk to be installed soon will keep track of the building's energy consumption.

Tours of the Gatewood Wing, with an emphasis on its LEED characteristics, will be given by Mechanical Engineering Ambassadors from 1-4 p.m. Monday (Sept. 26) as part of Purdue's Green Week activities.

The Gatewood Wing is named for Roger B. Gatewood, a 1968 mechanical engineering graduate who gave the key leadership gift for the $34.5 million building. Gatewood also made an additional gift to fund the design and construction costs associated with LEED certification.

The Gatewood Wing includes flexible classroom space, student commons and a number of computer, student learning and research laboratories.

The building will be dedicated Oct. 21.

Skiba said the new Marriott Hall on campus also is on track to achieve LEED certification, and the Student and Fitness Wellness Center under construction is expected to be certified.

Writer:  Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432,  

Sources:   France A. Córdova,

                    Michael Gulich,

                    Chris Skiba, 765-496-2308,