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US Green Building Council Awards Prestigious LEED® Platinum Certification to LEO A DALY-Designed FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science Building

First Academic Building in Southeast Florida to Achieve LEED® Platinum Certification

(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – August 8, 2011) The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® Platinum certification to the recently completed Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Engineering and Computer Science Building in Boca Raton, Fla. LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Designed by international architecture, planning, engineering, interior design and program management firm LEO A DALY, FAU’s facility is the first academic building in southeast Florida to achieve this status.

“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of U.S. Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science building is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”

“Florida Atlantic University is visionary in its approach to education,” said Robert J. Thomas, LEO A DALY’s principal of science & technology. “Science buildings are typically energy-consuming by nature, but both the college and our project team wanted to build a world-class facility that would showcase the university’s commitment to sustainability. Achieving the LEED® Platinum certification validates that commitment.”

The new 97,000-square-foot, five-story facility houses the university’s computer science, electrical and computer engineering programs, and consists of electrical instrumentation labs, computer build/circuitry labs, 5G technologies and specialized research labs.

“This facility will place the university, college and local community at the national forefront of energy conservation and environmental stewardship efforts and act as a catalyst for building a sustainable infrastructure,” said Karl Stevens, Ph.D., P.E., former dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science

The project showcases some unique engineering and cutting edge technologies, including:

• Chilled Beam Technology - Chilled beam technology, which has been used in Europe and Australia but has been seldom used in the United States until recently, substantially reduces the energy used by mechanical systems. Using this technology coupled with photovoltaic systems, heat exchangers and other additional strategies reduced the energy usage by almost 35 percent compared to an ASHRAE benchmark building.

• Temperature Control Systems - At FAU, geothermal wells capture heat from groundwater that has a year-round stable temperature of 78 degrees, to reheat the fresh air in the dedicated outside air unit. Additionally, heat exchangers capture heat gain from the data center computer servers and the UPS.

• Lighting Control Systems - The FAU building’s orientation provides day lighting within 90 percent of the buildings occupied rooms, views from 75 percent of the occupied rooms, shading of the building’s exterior to control heat gain and glare, and orientation to the wind.

• Solar Hot Water System captures heat from the sun to supply the hot water in the building.

• Art in Public Spaces – E-waste from FAU’s campuses is incorporated into the facilities’ artwork within the project.

• Educational Signage in the facility teaches visitors about the LEED strategies and systems used within the building.

Other sustainable elements include reducing the water consumption by 40 percent compared to the typical facility through features such as high-efficiency restroom fixtures and occupant sensors; utilizing Florida native and adaptive vegetation to restore natural plant and animal habitat for the new Engineering building premises; diverting more than 80 percent of the construction waste from landfills; and using local materials.

In addition to the LEED certification, there are training and educational achievements within the building including state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, as well as a virtualized cloud computing infrastructure, enabling the use of information technology resources on demand.

“This is such wonderful news. This 97,000-square-foot building provides an environmentally efficient place for our students, faculty, and staff. So many individuals have contributed to this amazing project, and we are very thankful to all of them,” said Mohammad Ilyas, Ph.D., interim dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. “This is the right building at the right place and at the right time.”


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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