Hough Hall north court
Hough Hall was awarded a Gold level of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Hough Hall nets LEED Gold certification from U.S. Green Building Council

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – William R. Hough Hall, the Warrington College of Business Administration’s new graduate studies facility, was awarded a Gold level of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED is “an internationally-recognized green building certification system that promotes sustainable building and development practices and recognizes projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.” LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: Site Planning, Water Management, Energy Management, Material Use, Indoor Air Quality and Innovation & Design Process. The Gold level of LEED certification, the second-highest possible, signifies that Hough Hall’s design and construction went above and beyond environmental quality, resource conservation, and sustainable materials and systems directives.

“With the Hough project, we pushed the envelope to raise the bar in some very important areas, including energy conservation and construction waste management,” said Bahar Armaghani, Director of the LEED Program at UF. “We set the stage for energy conservation by saving greater than 39 percent above a typical building of the size and function of Hough Hall. Also, we diverted 96 percent of the construction waste from landfills, and that is an outstanding achievement. Not many projects can do that.”

Among the numerous ecologically-sound strategies implemented in the design and construction of Hough Hall were erecting the structure in a former parking lot to not consume campus green space; providing shower facilities and bike storage to promote cycling commuters to help reduce carbon emissions; using building products with high recycled contents; using energy efficient lighting, including some controlled by the amount of natural daylight present; and air conditioning systems that track the amount of carbon dioxide and automatically “set back” to a warmer temperature when the building is unoccupied.

Howie Ferguson, the university’s project manager for Hough Hall, said that these and other energy-saving methods make Hough Hall more energy efficient and translate into an estimated $60,000 in annual energy savings.

“Gold LEED certification provides independent, ‘name brand’ confirmation that our sustainability goals were met or exceeded,” Ferguson said. “Plus, since the building serves as an important recruiting tool, this certification helps distinguish it from almost all other business school facilities across the country.”

Noting that the “greening” of Hough Hall didn’t stop with LEED certification, Ferguson added that “the building even includes sustainable features such as solar panels that heat water for showers and custodial closets that didn’t qualify for points in the LEED rating system.”

Hough Hall is a 70,000-square-foot building that houses nine specialized master’s programs, six Ph.D. programs and UF’s MBA program. The building is named in honor of William R. Hough, a member of the College’s first MBA class in 1948.

Construction began in December 2008 and the building welcomed classes in summer 2010. The structure was designed by Rowe Architects Inc. of Tampa and Sasaki Associates Inc. of Boston. Ajax Building Corporation of Tallahassee served as the project’s construction manager and TLC Engineering for Architecture (Tampa office) was the project’s engineer.