If you continually read my blog, you know that I have many interests, spanning from global environmental issues to communication theories. On top of my wide range of issues, I’m also a student athlete at Penn State University Park, and I play women’s ice hockey! As some of you may know, Terry Pegula made an 88 million dollar donation to Penn State University in the form of the Pegula Ice Arena, making this donation the largest in Penn State’s donation history. After the design for the arena was finally concrete, I read on Thank You Terry, a blog about Penn State men’s and women’s hockey, that the building was to be LEED certified. Imagine my surprise when I found out that two of my favorite things, hockey and environmental conservation, are to be combined in a hockey rink! I will be interested to see what level certification the Pegula Ice Arena will have, considering that the Greenburg Complex (the old/existing rink) is also LEED certified (as per the Green Building Council’s Registered Project Directory)
For those of you who don’t know, a LEED certification is given to new construction, existing buildings, schools, retail stores, and homes who wish to implement green building practices. There are four certification levels to LEED: certified, silver, gold, and platinum. Through the LEED website, I learned that in order to reach certain certifications, a builder/architect has to pass a point system through categories, including the use of recycled materials, renewable resources, and passive and active solar power use. Basically, it can be explained as such:
“LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.”
A couple of years ago, I went on a tour of the LEED Gold certified Dansko Building in the West Grove, PA. I mean, this building was awesome! It had a living roof, living walls, and sustainable materials. The lights inside the building were programmed to dim when the sun comes in, saving electricity. Perhaps the coolest part is how rain water is collected and flushed (no pun intended) into the toilets to save water. This building IS gold certified, so it’s not surprising that there is a ton of cool environmentally safe building practices. Through other research on Earthtechling, I have found out that LEED certifications are growing throughout the United States. In Washington DC, for example, there is a federal mandate that all new government buildings must be LEED certified, and that this mandate has had a huge impact on green building. Could this mean that the government will start implementing green practices and encouraging others to as well? Only time will tell.
Thanks to Thank You Terry for his information and pictures. Find him on blogspot!