Ole Miss Getting Green Certification

Tony Russell

The Ole Miss campus always seems to have new construction projects underway, but the University’s Facility Planner, Ian Banner, says there’s also a new type of thinking underway.

“Alot of us are trying to do better in terms of the way we think about energy use, and we decided to think about where energy comes from, and we started to think about what buildings cost,” Banner said.

When the Law School decided to re-model, they actually decided to change locations. It was at that point Banner thought about trying a “LEED” Building. Created by the U.S. Green Building Council, the “LEED” certification stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.”

Banner says, “I asked Chancellor Kayhat if we could do our first LEED building and having explained to him what LEED was all about and that the law school was going to be a high performance building anyway, I’d like to try one see how it went, he supported that.”

Banner says site selection, materials selection, energy, atmosphere and innovative design all had to meet criteria to obtain a “LEED” certification.

“There were 69-points on offer in those categories; if you get all 69 you get a platinum-rated building and we didn’t go that far.  We think that of the LEED categories we’re in the gold and silver categories; I think that will be very credible to the university,” Banner said.

Banner hopes the law school will be the first of many better designed buildings.

“Now we’re thinking about what a building costs in-terms of its 40 or 50 year life, and so if you spend a little bit more money up front, yet it saves you energy for that building, well that’s probably a good thing,” Banner said.

The University of Mississippi was founded in 1848 and that means some buildings on campus are at least 160-years-old.

“LEED has ways you can rate new buildings and ways you can rate old ones and so mainly we’ve done new ones, but we’re going to be working on the old ones as well, and they’ve got a system for that, they’ve got an app for that,” Banner said.

Banner has been working with the Ole Miss Physical Plant to bring older buildings on campus up to new enviornmental standards.

“The Physical Plant has gone in with the automatic dispensers, they’ve done a great job with that they’ve done a great job with the hand sanitation.  The outside of the building has gotten a facelift, yeah Bishop has gone a long way,” Banner said.

For more information:

U.S. Green Building Council

Ole Miss’ Envionmental Report Card

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~ by tonyrussell on November 12, 2009.

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