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GSU Student Recreation Center Receives First Green Globes Certification for Georgia Higher Education

ATLANTA — Georgia State University’s Student Recreation Center (SRC) has received three Green Globes for its efforts to use less energy, conserve natural resources and emit fewer pollutants into the air.

Green Globes, operated by the Green Building Initiative, is a green building assessment program that offers ways to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial buildings. After an extensive review process of the four-story, 161,000-square-foot GSU building, the SRC met the requirements under the Green Globes “Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings” certification.

“It’s the right thing to do and Recreational Services is a leader on our campus,” said Scott Levin, director of recreational services at GSU. “We are the first existing Student Recreation Center in the country to be Green Globes certified. We are also the first Green Globes certified facility in higher education in the State of Georgia, and one of only five certified facilities in the entire state.”

GSU’s Student Recreation Center houses office and administration spaces, meeting rooms, weight rooms, training rooms, a gymnasium, fitness center, a pool and support areas.

Some of the systems that the SRC has in place to ensure a healthy environment, include the use of high efficiency air filters, environmentally preferred cleaning products, meeting guidelines for lighting levels, and monitoring air exhaust streams and CO2 levels, Levin said.

“At the Rec Center and Georgia State University as a whole, they have on their own initiated several programs to drive down the use of energy and the use of water and other resources. They have also ramped up their recycling efforts. They are green people,” said Michael O’Brien, a senior engineer at Energy Ace and Green Globes assessor. “They were able to qualify for the Green Globes certification without really having to make any modifications to the building.”

GSU went through months of self-assessment before O’Brien conducted an energy audit of the 10-year-old facility, followed by a feasibility study comparing green building certification options. Green Globes was selected as the appropriate rating system for the SRC, and GSU scored 730 out of a possible 991 points, which is equivalent to three Green Globes. The top assessment rating is four Green Globes with a score of 991.

“The two areas where we received the highest marks were indoor environment and emissions/pollution controls,” Levin said. “This means we demonstrate leadership in design and delivery of energy and environmentally sensitive buildings and a commitment to continual improvement.”

The three Green Globes distinction was also based on the SRC’s use of high efficiency boilers, monitoring building refrigerants, the type of building fire system, and the method of storm water runoff.

“Green Globes certification is a physical demonstration of the organization’s dedication to using less energy and less water and being a good institutional citizen and example to others,” O’Brien said. “Green Globes certification is just a manifestation of that effort on their part.”

April 20, 2012