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NMSU Football Coaches Office Building awarded LEED certification by USGBC

The new Football Coaches Office Building at New Mexico State University has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's Green Building Rating System. The USGBC, the nation's foremost coalition of leaders from every sector of the building industry, works to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible and profitable, as well as healthy places to live and work. Its purpose is to create an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous surrounding that improves the quality of life.



The Football Coaches Office Building at NMSU was awarded LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's Green Building Rating System. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

The new building is the first LEED-certified building on the Las Cruces campus. It was designed by Studio D Architects, a Las Cruces-based architectural firm. The project team was spearheaded by Joe J. Payyapilly, project manager with the NMSU Facilities Planning and Construction office, and the team included project architect Jason Clark and LEED consultant Aaron Benefiel from Studio D, as well as RBM Engineering, ESA Construction and LEED commissioning agent Halcom Consulting. Both Clark and Benefiel are LEED accredited professionals.

"For me the whole energy-conscious design process is more important, more joyful. I like to have my entire concentration on the process right from the first project-inception step," said Payyapilly. "As the first LEED-certified building on the main campus, I feel very proud about this achievement for our main campus community and it's a nice feather in everyone's cap at the university. I think every project should follow this example and try to create an energy-saving and environmentally friendly, yet practical, design."

The Football Coaches Office Building is a 6,749-square foot, single-story building. The new sustainably built structure will serve mainly to house offices for the football coaching staff, but also includes a conference room, lounge rooms and other meeting spaces. During the design and planning process, green design ideas were taken into account to meet the minimum requirements of the governor's executive order 2006-001 to achieve LEED Silver certification. In 2008 NMSU declared, by signing the American College and University President's Climate Commitment, that it "... believe[s] that colleges and universities that exert leadership in addressing climate change will stabilize and reduce their long-term energy costs, attract excellent students and faculty, attract new sources of funding and increase the support of alumni and local communities."

When designing using the LEED rating system, a building must meet requirements of five different divisions: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. Extra points can be received by earning Innovation in Design and Regionalization credits. Each of these areas of design has certain criteria that must be met.

During construction of the Football Coaches Office Building, more than 88 percent of the construction waste materials were diverted from landfills, and more than 20 percent of the material used for construction was derived from recycled content. Ninety-five percent of the building's occupied space is lit via natural daylight, and the building uses 45 percent less water due to incorporated water efficiency strategies.

NMSU will continue to monitor its sustainability progress by going for LEED Existing Building, Operations and Maintenance certification within the next two years.