Faculty and students in Virginia Tech's Myers-Lawson School of Construction, a joint school of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the College of Engineering, are partnering with Lanford Brothers, a Roanoke-based highway and bridge contractor, on a "green" headquarters expansion and renovation project that challenges other companies in the Roanoke Valley to take an environmentally friendly approach to design and construction.

The project is the first of its kind in Botetourt County and one of only a few projects in the Roanoke Valley to seek certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System.

The Myers-Lawson School of Construction is using this project as a "living laboratory" to involve the students in the subject of green building and sustainability in several courses throughout the construction curriculum. The students are researching selections of sustainable technologies and methods for the project. They are also documenting every aspect of the project in a case study-format that can be easily incorporated as part of the curricula of multiple classes – both graduate and undergraduate – at Virginia Tech.

With this high level of university involvement, the project hopes to set a precedent for an additional Innovation in Design credit under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which will encourage future project teams to work more closely with universities and share lessons-learned with the construction professionals of tomorrow.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. It gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. It promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development; water savings; energy efficiency; materials selection; and indoor environmental quality. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design also provides a roadmap for measuring and documenting success for a variety of building types and multiple phases of the building lifecycle.

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies is composed of three schools and the Department of Art and Art History, part of the multi-college School of the Arts. The School of Architecture + Design includes programs in architecture, industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture. The School of Public and International Affairs includes programs in urban affairs and planning, public administration and policy, and government and international affairs. The Myers-Lawson School of Construction, a joint school of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the College of Engineering, includes programs in building construction and construction management. The college enrolls nearly 2,000 students offering 24 degrees taught by 153 faculty members.

Virginia Tech's College of Engineering is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 5,700 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a hands-on, minds-on approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 1,900 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study, including biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.

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