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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU proves sustainability, achieves another LEED certification

Mac+ballroom+joins+Blanton+and+Caruth+Halls+with+LEED+certification.
Sidney Hollingsworth/The Daily Campus
Mac ballroom joins Blanton and Caruth Halls with LEED certification.

Mac ballroom joins Blanton and Caruth Halls with LEED certification. (Sidney Hollingsworth/The Daily Campus)

SMU proved how sustainable it is again this year. The Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, located on the third floor of the Umphrey Lee Center, received its certification under commercial interiors.

“Certified is the lowest rating a project can achieve, but one that still shows the project completed significant measurable green building design solutions,” Chris Mavros, the campus resource administrator in the Office of Planning, Design and Construction, said. “This certification is another step of many to help SMU become carbon neutral.”

A U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) plaque will be installed outside the main entrance to the Ballroom for visitors and members of the SMU community to see.

“With this certification, SMU is not only representing a commitment to being sustainable, but the university is demonstrating that each space on campus, be it a classroom or ballroom, can been utilized to support the learning experience,” Mavros said.

SMU is now one of only a few projects that have attained a LEED certificate for commercial interiors. Currently there are 31,232 projects with LEED certification; however, only 6,000 of those projects are commercial interior projects.

There are nine different rating systems, each with different credentials for certification.

In February, the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development received a LEED Gold certification for new construction, the highest achievement a building can be awarded.

Unlike Simmons Hall, which entailed complete construction on a bare piece of land, the commercial interior certification is awarded to “individual spaces within a building that are undergoing a complete interior fit-out,” according to Mavros.

In order to achieve a LEED award, a building – interior or exterior – must undergo an extensive five-step process that includes registration, application, submittal, review and certification.

 

The Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom’s sustainable features include:

  • Updated heating and air conditioning
  • New energy-efficient windows that enable light to spill in during daytime, reducing the need for artificial lighting
  • More than 20 percent of the materials, by cost, for the space were manufactured and delivered from within 500 miles of the campus to cut transportation costs and pollution emitting fumes
  • The space utilizes paint, rugs and wall coverings that won’t emit chemical gases
  • All wood was ordered from environmentally friendly companies and was fabricated to contain no added urea-formaldehyde
  • The buildings sustainable approach includes simple reclamation approaches to saving water as ultra-low flow fixtures and waterless urinals which will save approximately 25 percent less potable water use than a conventional bathroom
  • The ballroom is expected to use 20.04 percent less energy that would a compared conventional

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