Students watch stocks in the Business Leadership Building's securities trading room.
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded UNT's Business Leadership Building Gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which is the second highest level of LEED certification.
"Gold LEED certification represents a crowning achievement for a truly cutting-edge business building design. I am particularly pleased that the new building furthers UNT's commitment to sustainability," says Finley Graves, dean of the College of Business.
The Business Leadership Building is UNT's third building to be LEED-certified in two years. In 2011, the UNT Life Sciences Complex received Gold-level certification and UNT's Apogee Stadium earned the highest level LEED certification and became the first Platinum-level LEED certified newly constructed collegiate stadium in the U.S.
"The University of North Texas System, in a collaborative effort with UNT, continues to construct high-quality, sustainable buildings that provide an excellent learning environment for our students. Receiving this award validates our accomplishments," says Raynard O. Kearbey, associate vice chancellor for UNT System Facilities.
The 180,000-square-foot Business Leadership Building, which opened in fall 2011, features numerous environmentally friendly components including:
- Recycling stations
- Water-efficient plumbing features
- Electricity generated in part by wind power provided by the City of Denton
- A sustainable water management and irrigation system
- Landscaping featuring native plants requiring less water and maintenance
The Business Leadership Building was constructed on previously developed land, which limited damage to the native environment. Recycled materials and materials found within 500 miles of the building were used during construction. The building is located within a quarter mile of campus and public bus stops, provides space for more than 140 bicycles, and features lockers and shower facilities for cyclists, all helping to reduce transportation pollution and dependency on motorized vehicles. The building's landscape plan promotes biodiversity while hard surfaces including sidewalks surrounding the Business Leadership Building are light in color to reflect heat, and the building's near-white roof reflects significant amounts of sunlight and heat.
Some of the 180,000-square-foot building's features include:
- A securities trading room with a dozen Bloomberg terminals and a stock ticker
- An executive board room
- 24 classrooms
- A café
- Computer labs
- A rooftop garden and courtyard
- Study and tutor rooms
- An entire floor dedicated to faculty offices and meeting spaces
In a departure from academic tradition, faculty offices are not organized by department, a design feature that encourages interdisciplinary research.
In 2008, UNT became Texas' first large public university to sign the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, pledging to adhere to more stringent environmental standards and promising to achieve at least LEED Silver certification on new buildings.
Leslie Wimmer with UNT New Service can be reached at Leslie.Wimmer@unt.edu.