UF recognized for sustainability efforts in construction and renovation projects

Courtesy of The Florida Independent Alligator Photo Credit: Alan Alvarez

The University of Florida recently received recognition through an award, rebate and certification for its sustainability efforts in three projects on campus.

On Aug. 29, heating and air systems company Trane presented UF with its Energy Efficiency Leader Award, which “recognizes the university’s commitment to providing a healthy, productive learning environment with minimal impact on the environment.”

Specifically, the award is for UF’s sustainability and efficiency efforts in the J. Wayne Reitz Student Union, which officially reopened in 2016 after a major two-and-half-year renovation. New sustainability efforts implemented during the renovation include high-efficiency fluorescent lighting, flow-restricted faucets, high-efficiency washer and dryer equipment, and other infrastructure upgrades, which have helped save more than 53 percent in annual energy savings.

“As Florida’s flagship university, we strive to set an example for the not only the rest of the state, but for the country, in being an innovative and forward-thinking campus,” said UF Vice President for Business Affairs Curtis Reynolds during the Trane award ceremony. “I think our sustainability efforts on projects like this really drive that fact home.”

UF’s new chemistry building, Joseph Hernandez Hall UF was awarded a Duke Energy rebate check for $78,000

The same week, UF received a rebate check from Duke Energy for its introduction of energy recovery ventilation and a number of other energy efficiency technologies in UF’s new chemistry building, Joseph Hernandez Hall. The approximately $78,000 check is one of the largest rebates UF has received from Duke.

Finally, UF’s third-oldest building, Newell Hall, received LEED Gold-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council after undergoing extensive renovations that focused on best sustainability practices as well as historic preservation. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is one of the most widely used green building rating systems in the world.

“Each of these projects underscores not only Business Affairs’ goal of working across multiple divisions to improve sustainability across campus, but the University of Florida’s role as a state and national leader,” Reynolds said. “Many thanks to all the individuals and offices involved in these projects – Sustainability; the Reitz Union; and Planning, Design and Construction – for their great efforts in achieving these accomplishments.”