Information Technology Facility certified LEED Platinum

BY KRISTEN EAST | JUNE 26, 2012 6:30 AM

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The University of Iowa Information Technology Facility recently earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification, making it the first building on campus to receive the highest LEED rating.

The certification provides verification that a building, home, or community has achieved a sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality, according the U.S. Green Building Council.

Liz Christiansen, the director of the UI Office of Sustainability, said the certification is a remarkable accomplishment.

"This facility joins only a handful of data centers in the world that have achieved LEED Platinum status," she said. "We're very proud. … We're delivering on the promise of building responsible [facilities]."

According to a UI press release, the 43,000-square-foot, $30 million facility was completed in December 2011. The facility is also believed to be the first educational institution data center to receive a LEED Platinum rating, according to a UI press release. Facilities Management has more than 17 LEED professionals on staff.

Christiansen said UI officials require that all new construction and major renovations to university buildings and facilities be built to the LEED Silver standard — a standard that has been exceeded by all UI building that have achieved LEED certification to date.

The Beckwith Boathouse, Sports Medicine Clinic, State Hygienic Laboratory, and Stuit Hall renovation have been awarded LEED Gold certification. The Carver-Hawkeye Arena addition/renovation and College of Public Health building are pending LEED certification.

"Our facilities have to keep up with ever-changing needs to stay at the frontiers of discovery," UI President Sally Mason said at the dedication of the College of Public Health building in April.

Steve Fleagle, the UI associate vice president for Information Technology Services, said he was proud of staff in the UI Hospital and Clinics, ITS, and the Office of Sustainability for collaborating on the construction of this building.

"The platinum rating fits in very well with the university's overall emphasis on sustainability," he said. "We're happy to do our part with such an energy intensive facility as our data center."

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