University of Rhode Island properties receive LEED Silver certification

TWO PROPERTIES ON CAMPUS at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingstown, the Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering and Bliss Hall, each received LEED Silver status recently. / COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – Two buildings on the University of Rhode Island campus in South Kingstown recently received a LEED Silver designation, the third-highest level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification awarded by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council for environmental sustainability in property construction, design and performance.

The $125 million Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering that was completed in 2019 and Bliss Hall, which was the subject of a $25 million renovation two years ago, were each granted LEED Silver status, joining 13 other properties on the South Kingstown campus that have achieved a LEED designation, URI said. Those 13 others include five buildings certified LEED Gold, five more that were previously certified LEED Silver and three basic level LEED Certified buildings.

“Importantly, LEED certification translates into higher energy efficiency rates and big energy savings for the university and the state,” said Paul DePace, URI director of capital projects. “But designing buildings that incorporate the use of sustainable materials, create open spaces for students to gather and add green space to our campus also make the university a nicer place to be for all of us.”

Ballinger Architects was the designer behind the six-story, 183,500-square-foot Fascitelli Center, which was the largest construction project in the school’s history, according to the university. The mostly glass exterior allows for natural light into most of the building’s core spaces, while the property is equipped with an energy efficient electrical system, including daylight sensors that control lighting, shutting lights off in perimeter spaces when it is bright outside, URI said.

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The renovation of Bliss Hall added 15,000 square feet to the existing 38,000-square-foot building, mostly on the north side where all the windows were replaced with historically appropriate-looking modern energy efficient windows, while utilizing a variable refrigerant flow system for air conditioning to further reduce energy use.

The contractor for the two projects was Dimeo Construction Co., while Hill International served as project manager.

“The state of Rhode Island has set a goal that state-funded projects should meet LEED certification status,” said Jim Devol, project manager for Hill International. “With these two buildings, URI has gone beyond that.”

Marc Larocque is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at Larocque@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @LaRockPBN.

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