40.03 – New and Major Renovation Building Policy

Created January 23, 2008

Preamble: The responsible use of all forms of energy and the good health of the University of Idaho and local communities are high priorities of the University of Idaho, which is committed to environmental, economic and social sustainability. This policy furthers these priorities by developing sustainable building standards for new buildings and major building renovation projects. Sustainable building standards will yield cost savings through reduced operating costs; help to provide a healthy and productive environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors; and contribute to the University’s goals of protecting, conserving and enhancing the region’s and State’s environmental resources. For further information, contact Facilities at 885-6246.

A. Definitions.

A-1. LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED Green Building Rating System is the national benchmark for high performance green buildings. Current rating systems and resources can be found at U.S. Green Building Council.

B. Policy.

B-1. General. It is the policy of the University to finance, plan, design, construct, manage, renovate and maintain its facilities in a sustainable fashion. While construction of sustainable buildings potentially incurs additional first costs – both in terms of design fees and construction costs, sustainable buildings have reduced operating costs. The University recognizes that investments in sustainable building usually have short payback periods and yield substantial savings over the life cycle of the completed facility.

B-2. Sustainable Building Standard. All new construction and major remodels (in excess of 50% of state replacement value) shall be certified as meeting or exceeding a Silver LEED rating or equivalent according to the latest edition of the US Green Building Council’s LEED rating system and accompanying Reference Guide. Design and project management teams are encouraged to meet higher LEED rating levels such as Gold or Platinum. Use of an alternative green building standard is allowed as long as a clear rationale is provided as to why the alternative standard should be considered equivalent or superior to LEED Silver or Gold. Particular emphasis should be placed on achieving the LEED points related to optimizing energy performance, advanced commissioning, and measurement and verification while advancing the mission of the building, the campus and the University.

B-3. Responsibility. This policy applies to all university divisions, departments, offices and their contractors responsible for financing, planning, designing, developing, constructing, renovating and managing University-owned facilities and buildings, regardless of location. Where other state agencies (e.g., Division of Public Works or Idaho State Building Authority) have responsibility for delivering the construction or renovation project, the university will strive to work with the agency in developing and delivering a project meeting the standards outlined above.

B-4. Exemptions. Buildings whose primary use is for agricultural or machinery storage, animal shelters, and similar uses are exempt from this policy until a LEED rating system is designed suitable to these types of structures.