LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nationally accepted standard for what is commonly called "green building." While LEED certification requires a minimal additional cost to building projects, the benefits are many. Every LEED project must be certified by an objective consultant, resulting in higher efficiency for the building, which in most cases returns the additional investment within a few years. Not only is LEED certification good sense, it is necessary for us to remain competitive with the other colleges in our conference. Swarthmore, Dickinson, Muhlenberg, and Johns Hopkins all have LEED certified buildings or are in process of seeking certification.
At WC, we have the opportunity to set a standard for colleges in our region by committing to a policy of LEED certification for all new building and renovation projects, beginning with the renovation of Tawes Theater. According to the administration, the plans for the renovation meet LEED standards, yet we are not pursuing certification. However, the certification process would prevent another inefficient building on campus, saving costs in the long-run and increasing the life of the building.
Additionally, by LEED certifying a building, we can attract the attention of donors who will be more willing to donate to future projects that continue to set an example of environmental stewardship. As our location within the Chesapeake Bay watershed is essential to our identity as a college, our public commitment to environmental stewardship should be an administrative policy and a part of our Strategic Plan.
I'd like to again ask the administration to take advantage of this opportunity by seeking LEED certification for the renovation of Tawes. For the rest of the campus, please ask the administration to set the standard for our college a step higher.
-Shannon Holste, '07, Sustainability Intern
Superb it will be for Washington College to be a pioneer among sister colleges to set the example with environmentally friendly buildings. Please help make the new Tawes Theater complex LEED certified. Next time you see a Washtington College administrator, tell that person you support LEED for the Tawes Theater complex.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is a program of the US Green Building Council, and is the nationally accepted standard for what is commonly called "green building."
The WC administration blamed increasing energy costs for the increase in our tuition last year. If this is the case, LEED buildings will be necessary if we don't want to see an additional increase in the tuition.
LEED certification results in higher efficiency for the building, which in most cases returns the additional investment within a few years in terms of utility savings.
- Dylan Gish