The renovated Kirner-Johnson Building has received Gold certification as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) site, one of several environmental awards recently granted to Hamilton facilities.
"As the users of Kirner-Johnson, we appreciate that, along with the function and aesthetics of the space, the College was dedicated to incorporating sustainable or environmentally responsible design," said Economics Professor Paul Hagstrom, who served as the faculty liaison for the project for more than a decade. The expanded KJ, which was built as the heart of the Kirkland College campus more than 40 years ago, reopened in 2008.
LEED, established by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the nation's pre-eminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. Another Hamilton campus building, Skenandoa House, received LEED Silver certification in 2006, but this is the College's first LEED Gold-certified building. Only five other colleges and one secondary school in New York State have buildings that have been certified LEED Gold.
LEED certification is difficult to achieve, since projects must meet myriad requirements in five environmental categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. It is Hamilton's policy to build all new structures to LEED standards, whether or not the College decides to seek actual certification.
Hamilton also has received Energy Star certification for Skenandoa House and Spencer House, identifying them as highly energy-efficient buildings. Additionally, the College purchased renewable energy certificates for the coming fiscal year, including 100 percent renewable energy for KJ and Emerson Hall, plus another four million kilowatts for the campus from Renewable Choice Energy. Skendandoa also uses 100 percent renewable energy from Sterling Planet through the National Grid Green Choice program.