The Danforth Campus at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri has just reached a major sustainable building milestone. This year, five separate buildings on the campus achieved LEED Platinum certifications, making it the only higher education institution to do so in 2020.

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The new accolades bring the total number of buildings with LEED Platinum designation to seven on the Danforth Campus. According to the school, the university’s green building design is part of an overall sustainability masterplan that aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels through a combination of onsite energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Related: LEED Platinum Sonoma Academy building takes cues from California’s landscape

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Four of the buildings can attribute their sustainable features to the East End Transformation, a $360 million reimagination project; the fifth building, January Hall, celebrates the heritage of a structure originally built in 1922 with a green renovation to upgrade environmental performance. This January Hall project went a step further by becoming certified under LEED v4, a brand new version of the sustainable rating system.

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The East End Transformation includes buildings designed to be 30% more efficient than standard structures, with heat recovery chillers to harvest waste heat, a living wall and a green roof over an underground garage. Additionally, the park’s landscape features rain gardens with bio-retention and diverse, native plants and trees. The school encourages low-carbon transportation methods with new pathways and a bike commuter facility that holds showers, lockers and electric vehicle charging stations.

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Thanks to envelope improvements, including a second layer of interior glazing to windows, wall insulation and additional roof insulation, January Hall has already achieved a 35% increase in energy savings compared to similar projects. Construction materials and finishes were selected based on environmental reporting and eco-friendly sourcing, while over 60% of the furniture and paneling in the hall’s East Asian Library was either preserved or reused to help minimize the project’s carbon footprint.

+ Washington University in St. Louis

Images via Washington University in St. Louis

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