Goodwin Hall, the flagship building for the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, which brings the total of LEED-certified university facilities to 12.

Additionally, the building received the "Best Project" designation in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) MidAtlantic's 2015 Best Projects competition. An independent jury named 34 projects in 17 categories. Seventeen projects were awarded the high honor of “Best Project” in their respective categories. Goodwin Hall was recognized in the higher education/research category.

“As we continue to build new facilities that support our nationally recognized academic and research programs, it's critical that we keep sight of our mission as a land grant university,” said Sherwood Wilson, vice president for administration. "The fact that a single facility has earned both the LEED Gold certification and recognition as a 'Best Project' underscores Virginia Tech's commitment to utilizing cutting-edge technology in a manner which protects the valuable resources available to us."

Some of the sustainable features of the building include:

  • Optimized energy performance;
  • Water use reduction both inside and outside;
  • Diversion of more than 75 percent of all construction waste from landfills;
  • Use of regionally manufactured building material;
  • Use of energy efficient lighting and interior temperature controls;
  • Access to public transportation;
  • Bicycle parking and changing rooms (with showers); 
  • Designated parking for low-emitting and field efficient vehicles; and
  • Use of low-emitting adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, carpet, and composite wood.

Goodwin Hall houses 40 instructional and research labs, eight classrooms, the Quillen Family Auditorium, and 150 offices for several engineering departments. 

Goodwin Hall is also a ground-breaking experiment to measure even the smallest vibrations made inside the building. The project is designed as a test bed to track data related to building design and security, occupancy monitoring for emergency response, structural health monitoring, and more.

Roughly 240 accelerometers attached to 136 sensor mounts throughout the building’s ceilings will detect information on where people are within the structure, measure normal structural settling and wind loads, and track building movement resulting from earthquakes similar to the event that struck Virginia in 2011. A sensor array mounted outside the building will measure external vibrations, such as wind, the bustle of traffic on nearby Prices Fork Road, the thunderous boom of tens of thousands of Hokie fans celebrating a touchdown at Lane Stadium, and possible seismic activity.

Construction started in 2011 and finished in June 2014. The building hosted its first classes in August 2014.

The Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment, which was reaffirmed in 2013, commits the university to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, to achieving a minimum LEED rating of silver for all new construction, to reaching a 50 percent recycling rate by 2020, and to improving energy efficiency where and whenever possible in campus buildings.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.


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