According to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), in the U.S., buildings account for a high proportion of resource use and waste generation. Therefore at Georgia Southern we believe in green building practices and adaptive reuse to help reduce energy use, CO2 emission, water use, and solid waste. The University accepts and recognizes LEED green building standards and in 2006 built its’ first LEED accredited building. This building addition is a 135,000-square-foot, $31-million addition to the student Recreation Activity Center (RAC), nearly doubling the original facility, adding 10 new indoor multipurpose courts and five new racquetball courts, a 23,000-square-foot, fitness center, weight/fitness rooms, and indoor 11-lane competition pool and diving well. New outdoor venues not included in the building’s square footage total added 20 acres of lighted sport fields, two lighted basketball and two lighted sand volleyball courts, as well as a one-mile walking trail, multipurpose outdoor pavilion, band shell and leisure pool.
Georgia Southern has received national coverage for this initiative and many requests to help other institutions to develop this program.
Gaining LEED certification at the RAC included using local and regionally manufactured and harvested material in construction. This lowered greenhouse emissions associated with transportation of construction materials. The more efficient building envelope, lighting and mechanical design of the expansion is calculated to be 27 percent more energy efficient than minimum energy code requirements. An ENERGY STAR roof reduces the heat-island effect. Increased ventilation effectiveness improves occupant comfort and helps ensure a good mix of indoor and outdoor air. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were eliminated to reduce the impact on ozone. Improved indoor air quality was achieved through the use of low- and no-volatile organic compound containing materials in construction, finishes and furniture.
In 2011, the University broke grounds on the Biological Sciences Building. This will be a new LEED Silver Building Designed for minimum impact on the environment. The building will include faculty labs, lab support rooms, classrooms, teaching labs and administration and faculty offices.
With the growth of the campus older residence halls have been renovated into office space.
Hendrix Hall, formerly a residence hall, was converted to an office and classrooms building in 2010. Energy upgrades included replacing windows and HVAC equipment