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Renovated UI College of Education Building Earns LEED Gold Certification

June 19, 2017

For the second time in less than a month, a University of Idaho building has received LEED Gold certification honors for its design and construction, this time for an innovative building renovation.

The College of Education building, located on the Moscow campus, was built in 1969 and recently underwent a two-year, $17 million remodel that earned the building the sustainability certification. UI’s Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) also has earned LEED Gold honors.    

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council that certifies buildings based on sustainability in several areas, such as water and energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design. There are four certification rating levels based on a 110-point score card; Gold is the second highest rating.

The project began in August 2014 and involved two distinct phases. In Phase I, the facility was vacated to strip and gut its interior structure to the bone, removing asbestos, crumbling exterior curtain walls and leaking windows. Phase I work was completed in May 2015 by Wright Brothers Construction of Boise. UI’s project model and approach was an important factor in it achieving LEED Gold status.

“The College of Education project was able to leverage credits for using large portion of the existing building — the foundations, floor structure, stair wells, roof structure and more, which were saved and reused in Phase II of the renovation,” said Ray Pankopf, UI’s director of Architectural and Engineering Services. “The re-use of existing structure greatly reduces the amount of new construction required so the carbon footprint is significantly less.”

Phase II was finished in June 2016 by Steed Construction of Eagle, and the remodeled building was re-occupied in August 2016 by the College of Education. The remodel project aimed not only at being environmentally friendly, but also in using design elements to create community and improve the student experience.

“Now that we’ve been in the building for 10 months, we can already see the intellectual community that these architectural features are enabling,” said College of Education Dean Alison Carr-Chellman, Ph.D. “There are important architectural features that facilitate collaboration, sustainability, research and teamwork that are really exciting.” 

Features include glass walls throughout to allow for brightly lit space across all five floors; team rooms and classrooms with comfortable, moveable furniture conducive to implementing key principles in active learning; modern, interactive teaching audio-visual technology, which is the most advanced on campus; and large corridor spaces with comfortable furnishings to encourage study and gathering spaces for students and faculty interaction.

“When the interior of the building was being re-conceptualized, student success was one of the core goals that guided decision-making,” said Associate Dean James A. Gregson. “A great example of this is the placement of the Student Services Center — it was moved from an obscure location to a very prominent, welcoming space near the main entry, close to the technology bars where students can charge and use their own devices or use one of the technology bar computers available.”

UI’s objective is to continue its trend of LEED achievements by focusing on sustainable construction. The university has adopted a policy that all new construction and major remodel efforts achieve LEED Silver or equivalent, which is foundationally part of UI’s current Strategic Plan 2016-2025.

UI’s next significant LEED construction project is the 4,700-seat Idaho Arena facility that will house Vandal court sports and events. The arena is in the design phase.

Media Contact
Lisa Ormond
Marketing and Communications Manager, Division of Infrastructure

Inside the renovated College of Education.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Learn more: