Global Neighborhood buildings earn LEED Silver certification

The U.S. Green Building Council recognized Elon University's newest residential neighborhood for its sustainable design and operations.

The six buildings in Elon University’s Global Neighborhood received LEED Silver certification this spring from the U.S. Green Building Council, bringing Elon’s total number of LEED buildings to 25.

The 25 buildings altogether account for more than 500,000 square feet of learning and living space across the campus.

The Global Neighborhood includes the Global Commons building and five residential buildings housing 600 students. The Commons building contains the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center, and offices for Core Curriculum faculty and Project Pericles.

With a green building policy stating that new construction over 8,000 square feet must be built according to LEED standards, Elon is quickly becoming a hub for green building. LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a certification developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is an internationally recognized benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

LEED certification for new construction is assessed based on a point system that considers sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design and regional priority credits. 

Notable highlights of the Global Neighborhood buildings include a 40 percent reduction in water use, being 12 percent more energy efficient than buildings constructed to standard code, building materials that are composed of roughly 30 percent recycled materials (based on cost), regional materials accounting for over 30 percent of the buildings’ materials (based on cost) and furniture with environmental certifications.   

One of the more outstanding achievements took place during construction – more than 90 percent of the waste was recycled or reused, which kept it out of the landfill.

Additional details on the building’s sustainable features can be found on the Office of Sustainability’s website.