As students return to campuses across the country for the start of another semester, colleges are starting to showcase some serious strides in sustainability. Some are investing in wind power and other alternative energies to help lower their carbon footprint, while others are endeavoring to green their facilities. Penn State is leading the charge with its gorgeous LEED Gold Stuckeman School of Architecture.

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It seems only appropriate that an architecture school should express its dedication to the field with a stunning sustainable structure. The Stuckeman Family Building for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) was designed by Pittsburgh-based WTW architects to incorporate a variety of environmental initiatives, earning it an impressive LEED Gold rating.

The four-story, 111,000-square-foot building boasts a beautiful exterior constructed from recycled copper and brick. Rainwater recycling systems capture water in cisterns for landscape irrigation, and an integrated storm water management system helps mitigate flooding.

As for the interior, the building has taken advantage of daylighting in addition to automated lighting controls and smart sensors that recognizes when people are inside – good for those caffeine-fueled all-nighters. The energy-efficient windows are motorized and can open up to utilize natural ventilation for the brisk morning breezes to wake you after you have fallen asleep at the drafting board. All in all it is an excellent example of sustainable architecture and stands as a fitting inspiration for the architects of tomorrow.

+ Penn State School of Architecture

+ WTW architects

Via Pop City