New Brunswick, N.J. — The New Jersey Chapter of the USGBC recently honored Rutgers University with the 2016-2017 Innovative School Project of the Year award, recognizing the recently completed College Avenue Redevelopment Initiative at the university’s New Brunswick campus. University officials will officially receive the honor at the chapter’s annual gala on March 30.
The College Avenue Redevelopment Initiative kicked off in 2012 with a partnership between Rutgers University and the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO). The aim was to create modern, sustainably built, academic and residential spaces on the College Avenue Campus, according to a statement by ReVireo, a green building services company based in North Brunswick that was also a partner in the project. It resulted in the construction of 800,000 square feet of capital improvements as well as modernization of the university’s infrastructure, utility service and connections, pedestrian walkways, ADA accessibility, campus bus support facilities, pedestrian lighting and transportation connection, according to the initiative’s website. The total project represents $330 million in total capital investments.
The initiative focused on the construction of three new buildings as well as outdoor academic and social spaces. Numerous sustainable building practices were implemented in the design and construction, including sustainable site planning, energy and water use reduction, conservation of materials and resources, and improvement of indoor air quality. All three buildings were built to attain LEED Silver certification.
Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects designed all three buildings, while and The Green Engineer Inc., a sustainable design consulting firm based in Concord, Mass., managed the LEED certification process. Joseph Jingoli & Son Inc., based in Lawrenceville, N.J., was the project’s general contractor, and Concord Engineering of Voorhees, N.J., as the commissioning authority, also played an integral role in helping meet the project’s green building goals, according to a statement by ReVireo.
Matthew Kaplan, CEO of ReVireo, said in a statement that the project marks an accomplishment not only for the university, but also for the state. “It’s one thing to design three buildings to be LEED certified on paper. It’s quite another to actually build them to LEED standards and document all the sustainable features,” he added.
David Banks, a development associate at DEVCO, explained in a statement that the firm wanted to be on the cutting edge of sustainable development ensure the project fostered positive social growth. “To continue planning for a better urban future, synergy between the city and the school will depend on sustainable development as a crucial part of that process,” he said.
The award also accompanies the official launch of RutgersLEED.com, an interactive, multimedia website that will serve as a teaching tool to aid students in understanding the integrative process of creating LEED certified buildings. This semester, digital kiosks will be installed in all three buildings so that occupants can interact with RutgersLEED as they move throughout the buildings.