Hendrix College’s Student Life and Technology Center has claimed gold in the globally recognized LEED green building certification ranking system.

The center, which opened to students in January, was recently investigated by the Green Building Certification Institute.

“It’s truly affirming after a complete investigation into the green aspects of the building that they’ve come back and certified that we have a LEED-Gold building,” Mark Scott, director of media relations for Hendrix College said. 

According to the U.S. Green Building Council of Arkansas, the building is the first on a college campus to receive the Gold designation. 

Other Gold buildings include the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality in North Little Rock, Caldwell Toyota in Conway and the Camp Aldersgate Commons Building in Little Rock.

Silver certification, a step lower than Gold, has been given to Wooster Elementary in Greenbrier, Hurricane Creek Elementary in Benton, Bethel Middle School in Little Rock and the Fayetteville Public Library.

Building to meet strict LEED certification standards is not cheap, according to Scott.

“I think the trend when you build a new building is to cut costs, which unfortunately results in more energy use in the long run. We’ve done the exact opposite and put more cost into the building,” Scott said. “Studies show it will be a better investment for the college and for the community.”

The 77,000 square-foot building cost the college $26 million.

Notable sustainable advances in the building include drought-tolerant vegetation, a light deflecting roof, natural light and water-saving fixtures.

“This is an honor that our entire community will celebrate, recognizing Hendrix’s desire to not only promote green-friendly initiatives, but to live them through our newest building on campus,” President Tim Cloyd said.

Scott said the challenging decisions associated with the project have not deterred the college, and he has no doubt that more LEED-certified buildings are in the campus’ future.

“We will want to go this road again, if at all possible,” Scott said.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)