The Veterinary Medicine Instruction Addition at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine has received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification.

That brings the total of LEED-certified Virginia Tech facilities to seven, the third so designated this year.

The 30,000-square-foot building on Virginia Tech’s campus opened last fall and now serves as the main entrance to the veterinary college.

“We are excited to have not only a quality, state-of-the-art building for our veterinary students and faculty, but also this recognition for the architectural, design, and construction team’s hard work to build this facility with sustainability in mind,” said Mike Harness, associate dean for finance and administration at the veterinary college.

The building earned certification points for a number of sustainable features, including

  • Natural swales and gardens to filter groundwater;
  • Native trees, shrubs, and groundcover that do not need permanent irrigation;
  • Low-flow water fixtures that reduce interior water use by 37 percent;
  • Reduced energy use through increased insulation, efficient grading systems, a variable air volume heating and air conditioning system, occupancy sensors, light heating, and a radiant floor on the second level; and
  • Carbon dioxide air monitoring to protect air quality.

The project’s design team chose not to include new parking in order to protect the surrounding land, including a nearby historic oak grove. Construction crews prevented 90 percent of construction waste from entering landfills and used recycled and regional materials for more than 20 percent of the project. The pillar of Hokie Stone that now welcomes visitors to the veterinary college came from a local quarry and is one example of regional products used on the facility.

“Since the new building opened its doors, our students have benefited from its attractive and modern teaching and learning spaces,” said Dr. Jennifer Hodgson, associate dean for professional programs at the veterinary college. “The building’s LEED Silver rating gives us another reason to take pride in this world-class facility for our Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.”

The Veterinary Medicine Instruction Addition includes a 7,400-square-foot surgical space for second- and third-year veterinary students as well as new faculty offices, student seminar space, small conference areas, and an outdoor patio overlooking college grounds. Construction began in the summer of 2011 and the building opened in time for the arrival of the new class in August of 2012.

Written by Michael Sutphin.

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