Armstrong's Learning Commons Earns LEED Gold Certification

(Oct. 2, 2013) – Armstrong Atlantic State University's Learning Commons expansion recently earned LEED Gold certification, recognizing the university's commitment to sustainable design and green building principles.

The certification marks the second time an Armstrong building has been honored with LEED status. Armstrong's Student Union received LEED Silver certification in 2011.

“Part of educating Armstrong students for the future involves demonstrating our commitment to sustainability on campus,” said David Carson, Armstrong's vice president for business and finance. “We want to lead by example and to underscore the importance of environmental responsibility at Armstrong.”

Sustainable design components at Armstrong's Learning Commons include the following:
• Sustainable finishes and building materials.
• Energy-efficient mechanical systems and lighting fixtures.
• Energy management system enhancing access to natural daylight.
• Solar photovoltaic panels on the roof, which allow for the production of renewable energy on-site.
• Water efficiency, including low water flow plumbing fixtures.
• Highly reflective roof membrane, reducing solar heat gain.
• Green roof, including a 500-square-foot vegetated roof garden.

Cogdell & Mendrala Architects, P.C. served as the lead architecture firm for the project. The construction manager was Garbutt/Christman, LLC.

The Learning Commons was conceptualized as a technology-rich knowledge center offering students a place to learn and share in an interactive environment that is adaptable and accommodates new technology. The 15,000-square-foot building, which officially opened on June 1, includes a repurposed existing facility designed to facilitate and encourage collaborative learning. The satellite library expansion incorporates the latest learning and information-sharing technologies and provides flexible student collaborative study environments.

The Learning Commons was originally constructed on the main quadrangle at Armstrong in 1965 as the Campus Student Center. The building was expanded in the 1980s with the addition of a bookstore and was renovated again in the 1990s to house the university's Information Technology Services division.

The LEED certification program is administered by The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) through the Green Building Certification Institute, a third-party administrator. The Green Building Certification Institute performs the technical reviews and verification of LEED-registered projects to determine if they have met the standards set forth by the LEED rating system.