Engineering School Renovation Earns LEED Gold

August 30, 2010

The newly renovated Duthie Center at the University of Louisville recently received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.  The renovation kept nearly 95% of the existing structure, including exterior walls, roof decking, and the structural floor.

“Duthie Center for Engineering, the university’s first LEED-certified renovation project, is a wonderful example where education theory becomes a reality for our students,” said Ken Dietz, university architect and director of planning, design and construction. “The project underscores the university’s intention to achieve dynamic growth while demonstrating a commitment to sustainability through reclamation, responsible construction practices, recycling programs, energy and natural resource management.”

The Duthie Center, which recently housed the university’s engineering library, was dedicated in 1947.  The project achieved several points for reuse of the building’s structure, and gained many more through other sustainable design principles.

  • 77% of demolition waste that wasn’t reused was recycled.
  • 27% of new materials contained recycled content.
  • 31% of new materials were produced locally.
  • The Center now saves 54% on its water use.

Other features included: a special entrance system that reduces dust and dirt coming into the building, new landscaping and patio areas, dedicated parking for low-emitting and fuel efficient vehicles, secure bike racks, and access to bus lines and a shuttle.

The center houses the Speed School’s career development center, the Hagerty student commons area with food court, freshman engineering teaching laboratories, and classrooms. It also houses offices and laboratories for the computer engineering and computer science department.

“It is extremely rewarding to see how the Duthie Center has evolved over the years,” said Barry Abrams, project manager of the renovation with Lord, Aeck and Sargent Architecture. “It has served many functions and gone through several renovations and additions. It’s exciting to be a part of its new life, once again serving many diverse student, teaching and research functions while being responsive to our sensitive environment.”

Photo (c) 2010 by Thomas Watkins Photography.



Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.