TAMIU’s University Success
Electric car charging stations are available near
the University Success Center.
As students go about their business in Texas A&M International University’s University Success Center (USC), most are probably unaware that the light-filled information mall with storefront-style offices is actually one of the area’s leading examples of energy efficient design and architecture.
That’s because the USC was constructed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards. This forward-thinking standard sees the USC partly powered by solar panels on the west side of the building and able to maintain a 17.5% energy optimization with an energy-star rated roof, double tinted windows, centralized hot water heater system and building construction that features low-emitting materials.
Even the USC parking lot is made out of white concrete, which makes it cleaner and cooler. As an additional bow to the future, the USC includes complimentary electric car-charging stations for those students who might be driving and parking electric, hybrid vehicles. It also includes bike racks and a shower room for students and faculty traveling to campus on “green” bicycles.
TAMIU is a leader in environmental initiatives and technology and one of the most efficient of The Texas A&M University System campuses, said Richard Gentry, director, TAMIU Physical Plant.
“As part of our Campus Sustainability Initiative, TAMIU is able to reduce utility expenses, improve air quality, reduce air, land and water impacts on environment and improve our students’ learning environments,” Gentry said.
“TAMIU incorporates numerous eco-friendly practices into all its daily operations, including an automated irrigation control system, ongoing water conservation research, drought-tolerant vegetation, low-flow faucets, toilets and showerheads and active recycling of all paper, metal, cardboard, and plastic as well as batteries, lights, and phones. TAMIU is a 100% asbestos-free campus and maintains a no-smoking policy around buildings,” he explained.
“Among our recently added green initiatives is the collection of condensation through the University’s air-conditioner system. By recapturing and reusing the collected condensation of the air-conditioning units on campus, about 1,000,000 gallons of water are collected and reused a year,” Gentry noted.
“As a community, we can all do something in our daily lives to reduce our impact on our environment. We lessen our carbon footprint on the world by conserving our resources on our campus. As an institution of learning, TAMIU wants to help create energy-conscious graduates. The University is committed to providing greener options for our students,” Gentry continued.
TAMIU was a recent recipient of the Green Community Award presented by KGNS, the CW and Telemundo Laredo.
LEED, used in the USC design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building (USGBC) and spearheaded by LEED founding chairman Robert K. Watson, LEED is intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Since its inception in 1998, the U.S. Green Building Council has grown to encompass more than 7,000 projects in the United States and 30 countries.
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