The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification Awarded to Sturm College of Law

The U.S. Green Building Council was created by industry leaders to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live, work and learn. The Council’s certification process—LEED—incorporates all aspects of a building’s life cycle, including site sustainability, water efficiency, energy use, materials and resources and indoor air quality. To become LEED certified, buildings must meet 26 of 50 standards under the aforementioned categories.

“The LEED Gold award recognizes that the Sturm College of law ‘practices what it teaches’ in terms of the importance of carrying for the environment,” according to DU Law Prof. George (Rock) Pring. Prof. Pring, one of the nation’s leading environmental law professors, was a member of the law school building advisory committee that advocated for the building of a green building. “Students who study in our JD, LLM, and MRLS programs will see first-hand the commitment the law school has to excellence in teaching about environmental and natural resources issues but also how practical steps can be taken — even in undertakings as significant as the building of this new facility — to protect people and the environment.”

The following is a sampling of the law school’s “green” features:

  • Designed to use 40% less energy than a comparable conventional building
  • Indoor movement-sensor electric lighting
  • Efficient mechanical systems and high thermal-performance walls, windows and roof
  • Each floor has an area to recycle glass, paper and plastics.
  • Building materials contain a high percentage of post-consumer recycled materials, including structural steel, copper roof, carpeting and acoustic tiles, resulting in more than 50% of all construction wastes being diverted from landfills and recycled
  • Infrared sensors on water faucets, waterless urinals and other water-efficient fixtures result a 39% water use reduction compared to a conventional building.
  • Native plants and special irrigation technology have resulted in result in 70-percent less water used for landscaping
  • Exterior lighting eliminates vertical light pollution and horizontal light trespass.
  • Showers are available for students, faculty and staff who walk or ride their bikes.
  • Electrical recharging stations are available in the parking garage.
  • Superior ventilation, a non-smoking environment, a carbon monoxide monitoring system and indoor pollutant controls contribute to greater air quality inside the building
  • Low emitting paints, carpets and composite wood products contribute to greater air quality
  • Building furniture was purchased from manufacturers with demonstrated environmental, health and safety (EHS) policies and practices.