UT Dallas Building Awarded Highest Green Status
Student Services Building is First Academic LEED Platinum Facility
Feb. 10, 2011
One of UT Dallas’ newest facilities, the Student Services Building, has been awarded LEED Platinum status by the United States Green Building Council.
With features such as a lighting system that adjusts itself to the amount of sunshine entering the space and a hot water system heated by solar panels, it is the first academic structure — and the 11th statewide — to achieve the designation. It also is the first LEED Platinum facility in the UT System.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a designation that recognizes environmentally conservative or “green” design and construction features. The Platinum designation is the highest LEED certification level a building can achieve.
The Student Services Building, or SSB, was certified by the Green Building Certification Institute. Sustainable features in the facility include the use of local and regional materials in much of the construction, daylight harvesting capabilities, enhanced building mechanical systems and projected lower operating costs.
“Achievement of this rating was accomplished through a committed team effort by all the individuals who were involved in the project, including personnel from the architect and their consultants, the general contractor and their subcontractors, the project management from the UT System Office of Facilities Planning and Construction, as well as numerous UT Dallas employees,” said Rick Dempsey, associate vice president for Business Affairs, Facilities Management, at the University. “This building demonstrates our commitment to sustainability.”
The four-story, 74,000-square-foot building houses many of the primary departments that students will interact with during the course of their interaction with UT Dallas. They include the Bursar’s and Financial Aid offices, the Career Center, the Dean of Students, Enrollment Services and the Registrar, the Health and Counseling Centers, International Student Services, the Multicultural and Women’s Centers, and Residential Life and Housing Operations.
The SSB includes large common areas, enabling current and prospective students to meet with advisers and staff members and to work with one another in informal settings.
“The Student Services Building sets a new standard for buildings on campus,” said SSB architect Peter Busby. “We are delighted to have been involved with the project.”
UT Dallas students approved a referendum to add a $71 fee to their tuition to make the building a reality.
The $27.5 million facility was designed by architects Busby, Perkins and Will, and the contractor was Hill & Wilkinson. Construction on the project began in April 2009 and was completed in August 2010.
“From the very start of this project, building a sustainable structure was a priority for UT Dallas, the architect and the entire construction team,” said Steve Camp of Hill & Wilkinson. “Many distinctive and unique features were incorporated into the Student Services Building without compromising the LEED Platinum certification. For all of the team, we were committed to cost-effective, innovative solutions that reflected best practices in designing and building a truly sustainable facility.”