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November 12, 2009
Source: Media Release/November 2009

Emory completed construction on its new 118,000 square foot Psychology and Interdisciplinary Sciences Building in May. Six months later, the structure was certified LEED Gold by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

The academic and research building is the third Emory edifice to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from USGBC in 2009. The University now has four LEED Gold certified buildings in its collection of LEED buildings. LEED certification is a third-party verification system to assess a building's sustainability. Gold is the second highest certification, following platinum certification.

For this building to achieve LEED Gold certification many 'green' features were integrated into the design, including a bioswale in the courtyard to reduce storm water run-off. Bioswales are landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface run-off water. Additionally, over 90 percent of construction waste was diverted from local landfills by recycling construction debris. The red clay roof tiles that differentiate Emory's campus from other universities can be found atop this building and were recycled from two residence halls on campus that were previously demolished. Ninety-two percent of the wood-based building materials were harvested from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests.

The new psychology facility was designed to foster more collaboration among psychologists and other scholars at the University, and is now a part of a Science Commons with nearby buildings including chemistry, physics and other natural sciences. The new space consolidates Emory's psychology department from seven buildings across campus into a single state-of-the-art facility for teaching and research. The new facility was designed to include a variety of specialized spaces. Some of the teaching methods used in psychology are moving towards inquiry-driven, instructive approaches which require different facilities than traditional learning spaces.

Emory holds the distinction of having one of the largest inventories by square footage of LEED certified building space among campuses in America.


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Emory's new Psychology and Interdisciplinary Sciences Building