In the LEED

By kvitare1@johnshopkins.edu

The Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories, a state-of-the-art lab space on the Homewood campus, has received the highest certification available—platinum—from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

The internationally recognized LEED program is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council and provides a numeric score for green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance. The UTL building received a score of 80 out of 108 possible points.

“The university has a LEED silver standard, so to achieve platinum for such a resource-intensive building truly speaks to the design and construction team’s commitment to integrate sustainability in innovative ways throughout the space,” says Ashley Pennington, program manager of the Johns Hopkins Office of Sustainability. “It’s an impressive feat.”

The UTL building contains 20 high-tech lab spaces and classrooms for undergrads and faculty in the departments of chemistry, biology, biophysics, psychological and brain sciences, and neuroscience. Opened in 2013, the four-story, 105,000-square-foot facility was designed by Ballinger of Philadelphia to use 40 percent less energy than similar code-compliant lab buildings. Its energy-efficient designs include highly efficient heating and cooling systems, occupancy sensors that control lights and HVAC, daylight sensors, low-flow water fixtures, and cutting-edge lab technologies designed to conserve energy and water.

For example, a typical lab creates vacuums for experiments using water, whereas the UTL building utilizes vacuum pumps with on/off switches, conserving the water that would otherwise be discarded after use. Also in the labs are high-performance fume hoods, which provide protection for scientists while conserving energy.