CINCINNATI—The Center for Academic and Research Excellence (CARE)/Crawley Building in the University of Cincinnati (UC) Academic Health Center has been awarded LEED Gold certification, emblematic of excellence in sustainable building practices.
Officially opened in September 2008, the CARE/Crawley Building houses some of the most technically advanced laboratory research and teaching space in the nation. It was designed with sustainability in mind, from its overall design to the methods and materials used in its construction.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification provides independent verification that a building project is environmentally responsible and a healthy place to live and work. There are four levels of LEED certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. LEED Certification is particularly difficult for a laboratory facility such as the CARE/Crawley Building to earn because such facilities use far more energy than office buildings of comparable size.
The LEED system was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization committed to sustainable building practices, and is verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).
“The CARE/Crawley Building is not only a showplace that inspires intellectual debate and discussion but also is a model of sustainability, and this LEED Gold certification serves to confirm that,” says Mary Beth McGrew, university architect and associate vice president for planning, design and construction.
This is the university’s fifth LEED-certified building and its first Gold. In progress is UC’s sixth LEED building, the renovation of Teachers College/Dyer Hall, in consideration for Silver certification.
“When students visit our campus, they care about how many LEED-certified buildings we have,” says McGrew. “Sustainability is important to this generation, and it’s the right thing to do.”
San Francisco-based STUDIOS Architecture in collaboration with Harley Ellis Devereaux planned and designed the CARE/Crawley Building. It features a striking exterior design and a nine-story glass-sided atrium, spanned by seven glass bridges, connecting it to the Medical Sciences Building. UC alumnus Eric Sueberkrop, a STUDIOS Architecture principal, was lead designer on the project.
LEED certification of the CARE/Crawley Building was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:
- All of the landscape irrigation is provided by collected rainwater in an underground 90,000-gallon stormwater detention system. This system also reduces the strain on the municipal sewer system by collecting the bulk of rainfall and allowing it to migrate gradually into the storm sewer.
- The building was designed to reduce the “Urban Heat Island” effect by minimizing hardscape, such as sidewalks and plazas, and using reflective elements for roofing. These elements, along with natural landscape, minimize the building’s heat absorption and result in real energy savings.
- The atrium features natural lighting and natural ventilation, and all of the research labs have access to natural light. Motion sensors save energy.
- During the construction process, nearly 98 percent of the construction-related waste was recycled. The previous building on the site, a concrete parking garage, was recycled on site and used in part as fill to the surrounding landscape.
- There was a focus on using locally and regionally extracted and manufactured materials for construction of the building.
The CARE/Crawley Building is named for Edith Crawley, a UC alumna who bequeathed $12 million to the Academic Health Center to bolster research into eye disease for older adults. The Edith J. Crawley Vision Science Research Laboratory is on the fifth floor.
In November, the CARE/Crawley Building was selected for the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design American Architecture Awards program for 2009. The program honors and celebrates the most outstanding new achievements and innovation for new architecture designed and built in the United States by leading American and international architecture firms.