Gatton Building Achieves LEED Gold Certification

Posted: June 09, 2017

The University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics Building has been certified as a LEED® Gold building by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Gatton is the third building at UK to receive a LEED Gold certification.

“The new Gatton College building is transforming business education at UK, preparing the next generation of business leaders with advanced technology and engaged learning in classrooms and labs that reflect UK’s commitment to sustainable business practices,” said David Blackwell, dean of the Gatton College. “We’re proud to be recognized among an elite group of business college buildings for demonstrating the importance of sustainability to modern business success.”

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the USGBC's leading rating system for designing and constructing the world's greenest, most energy efficient and high performing buildings. The six major environmental categories of review include: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design. Certified Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category.

"Sustainability and environmental stewardship are core principles of our institution. And, as part of that commitment, virtually all new construction on campus targets LEED certification,” said Eric N. Monday, UK’s executive vice president for finance and administration. “This designation of excellence in sustainability — LEED certification — for the Gatton College of Business and Economics underscores our sustained commitment to continuous improvement in environmental stewardship, lowering utility costs, and creating a more energy efficient and healthy campus.”

The LEED Gold certification was based on a number of design and construction features. The building utilizes water-efficient plumbing fixtures, which reduce water use by 42 percent compared to a baseline model, and is 26 percent more energy efficient than the baseline model. More than 40 percent of materials used in the renovation were regional and all adhesives, sealants, paints, composite woods, sealers and floor systems were low- or no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emitting materials.

"Our campus buildings are critical components of our sustainability initiatives," said Shane Tedder, UK sustainability coordinator. "The newly renovated and expanded Gatton Building is a great example of how human health and well-being, environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility can be integrated in the design, construction and operation processes."

Named for alumnus and donor Carol Martin Gatton, the building was recently renovated and expanded to prepare the next generation of business leaders with advanced technology and engaged learning. The $65 million project is the first academic building on UK’s campus to be funded entirely through philanthropy.

The 210,000-square-foot building fully opened in the fall of 2016 on South Limestone and Administration Drive. By incorporating and remodeling both the 1963 original Gatton building and its 1992 addition, the college was able to wisely utilize resources and save money while still increasing learning spaces by more than 40 percent over the old Gatton building. State-of-the-art, technology enabled classrooms, advanced lecture space, a dedicated real-time finance learning facility and collaborative study spaces throughout the building emphasize the way business is conducted in the 21st century.

"Designing a building to meet LEED certification standards — especially Gold — cannot be done by the architects alone," said Sarah Lamere of RossTarrant Architects, one of the college's construction partners. "This was a team effort that also included commitment by the mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers at Staggs and Fisher; David Collins, project manager for UK Capital Project Management; and the leaders at the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics, Dean Blackwell and Associate Dean (Ken) Troske."

When the projects currently under construction on campus are completed and certified, the university will have 24 LEED buildings representing more than 15 percent of its total building stock.