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U of U's New Law Building Gets $4.5 million Gift to Support LEED Certification

University of Utah

May 22, 2013

Salt Lake City — As the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law prepares to break ground on its new home this June, the Alternative Visions Fund of the Chicago Community Trust announced a $4.5 million gift to the college.

The donation will help promote environmentally responsible construction and support the college’s goal of obtaining certification as LEED platinum, a rating that no existing law school facility has yet attained. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a system for rating buildings for a range of sustainability features, including energy efficiency. The Alternative Vision Fund’s gift includes $500,000 in matching funds to encourage others to contribute to this effort to make the new law school building more sustainable.

“We are so grateful for the continued support of the Alternative Visions Fund, whose partner funds have a lengthy history of support for the College of Law’s Stegner Center,” said Bob Adler, interim dean. “The architects at VCBO-Smith Group developed an incredible portfolio of additional sustainability features that inspired the Alternative Visions Fund to support our project.”

The College of Law’s new building is planned to incorporate sustainable features into its design, including efficient irrigation, storm water retention, site landscaping designed to accommodate low-water-use vegetation and easy access to mass transportation. The building is also planned to reduce energy consumption through enhanced exterior insulation, fixed exterior sunshades and insulating glass that emits low levels of heat.

In addition, the building will incorporate energy-efficient systems, such as a “chilled beam” heating and air conditioning system, enhanced lighting controls that include occupancy and daylight sensors, and on-site and off-site solar power generation. The building also makes use of sustainable materials, such as LED lighting and recycled materials.

“By reducing energy use and water consumption in a cost-effective way, as well as meeting the university’s energy reduction target, this building should be eligible for LEED platinum status, a rating that no existing law school in the world has yet attained,” Adler said.

The new facility is expected to be ready for the 2015-16 academic year.

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