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College of Engineering and Computer Science to go green with new building
By Cody Long

Florida Atlantic University is preparing to break ground for a new, $43 million eco-friendly College of Engineering and Computer Science building on the Boca Raton campus.

This will be the first building of a planned complex of engineering structures on the north side of campus, university officials said.

“These buildings have lower operating costs, reduce waste and greenhouse emissions, qualify for tax rebates, as well as show an owner's commitment to the environment and saving energy,” says the U.S. Green Building Council.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

The LEED rating system has four levels from bronze to platinum (platinum being the most energy efficient) to set standards for constructing buildings to promote energy sustainability.

“This building is to be the first platinum level LEED certified building in the state,” Engineering Development Director Brenda Coto said.

“Energy sustainability is one of our department's main goals,” Coto said. With the addition of this 90,000-square-foot engineering building, the program hopes to grow to include more areas of study like solar energy, combustion, and water quality.

Partnering with the university is Schwab, Twitty & Hanser, of West Palm Beach, which will provide architectural design services, as well as James A. Cummings Inc., also of West Palm Beach, which will provide construction management services.

The Kresge Foundation Green Building Initiative, of Troy, Mich., recently awarded a $50,000 grant to help construct the new engineering building. The foundation awards planning grants for sustainable design to advance environmental conservation.

Construction is scheduled to begin in January on the northwest corner of FAU Boulevard and Northwest 20th Street, and is expected to be completed within the year, according to the developer.

FAU's College of Nursing building, which was built in 2005, is a gold-level certified LEED building. In addition, FAU plans to build the first LEED certified public school soon.




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