LEED-certification of UTC Library

The UTC community is proud that this building is LEED-certified Silver. LEED, which means Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that provides third-party recognition that a building is designed, built, and operates with respect to the environment. The LEED-certification process is a holistic approach that considers the construction process, building systems, furnishings, features, and daily operations.

A thoughtful approach….

Conservation efforts began with pre-construction and design. During site preparation, the asphalt and concrete from the existing parking lot were collected for recycling, diverting construction waste from our local landfill.  Almost 25% of the Library was constructed with recycled materials, significantly reducing the demand for virgin raw materials. Nearly 40% of the building materials were sourced close to the UTC campus, supporting our regional economy, as well as reducing transport fuel consumption and the associated pollution. Landscaping design includes native vegetation, green spaces, and walkways laid with pervious pavers where possible.  

Breathe easier….

Interior finishing materials such as carpet, fabrics, paints and sealants were carefully selected to meet strict emissions standards for volatile organic compounds as well as considering aesthetics and durability. This improved the working environment for installers as well as on-going indoor air quality for library occupants. 

Supporting local….

Recycled content and/or sustainable products were used wherever possible. For example, the carpet manufacturer is one of the world’s leading users of recycled bottles in their floor materials and their manufacturing facilities are located less than 30 miles away from Chattanooga. Cork flooring, a renewable resource regarded as the best choice for natural sound insulation, allergen control, insulation, and fire resistance, is used in all public circulation corridors as well as many adjacent spaces.

Every aspect considered….

The products used in the construction of the Library meet LEED standards which means that the air inside contains less harmful chemicals than in a non-LEED- certified building, creating a healthier indoor environment.

The building was designed to incorporate daylighting and impressive views into a large percentage of the spaces; this increases the energy efficiency of the building and contributes to the occupants’ thermal and visual comfort. Highly efficient digital controls of heat and air conditioning also contribute to energy conservation.

From top to bottom….

On each floor of the building you will find water fountains, bottle-filling stations and recycling stations. An additional bottle station, donated in partnership with the Tennessee Clean Water network, will be located at the new Derthick Hall adjacent to the Library. These stations encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce the number of plastic bottles introduced into our landfills.

Restrooms, custodial closets, and staff breakrooms are equipped with high-efficiency plumbing fixtures to further conserve water and reduce the flow of domestic water through the building. Restroom water closets are outfitted with fixtures that reduce cold water flow to 1.28 gallons per flush (versus 1.6 GPF).

Starbucks wasn’t forgotten….

The Starbucks features a 2,300 ft2 green roof made of 100% biodegradable materials. The green roof is part of a stormwater management system which reduces rainwater runoff. The rest of the system is located deep underneath the building, where two 24,000 gallon water retention tanks capture rainwater and the cooling system’s condensation. This water is held for irrigation, and any excess is gradually released to avoid overflow of drainage systems during heavy rainfall. The Library is on the new automated, campus-wide irrigation system, which further reduces water consumption. Other roofing materials were selected for their highly reflective surfaces, reducing solar heat gain inside the building as well as the heat island effect around the site.

For more information about the LEED-certification process, please contact the UTC Office of Sustainability