LaGrange College library earns ‘green’ certification
Nov. 3, 2009
The new Frank and Laura Lewis Library at LaGrange
College was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver
certification Monday, making it only the third library in the state –
and the first outside the Atlanta area – to win that “green”
LEED is the nationally accepted rating system
for high-performance sustainable structures and is administered by the
United States Green Building Council.
Holley Henderson with H2 Ecodesign, an
environmental consultant firm who worked on the library project,
presented the award to the college.
“You are the pioneers,” she said. “You are
living examples of the eco-challenges and the knowledge found in the
books housed here.”
The announcement was made Monday afternoon
during a book signing by Ray Anderson, founder and chairman of
Georgia-based Interface, the world’s largest producer of commercial
floor coverings. Anderson has been a champion of the “green” movement
for 15 years, making Interface the world's first industrial firm devoted
to sustainability. He is a former LaGrange College trustee who
challenged the institution to build “green.”
“I am proud that LaGrange College committed
itself to be a leader in the sustainability movement,” said Dan
McAlexander, college president. “And the reason we got into this
business is Ray Anderson. He is one of the world’s most compelling
thinkers about what it means to live in our world at this time.”
Anderson has a long relationship with LaGrange
College, serving as a member of the President’s Advisory Council. He has
been an active champion of the school’s sustainability efforts, which
include the first Energy Star-rated college facilities in the state and
the distinction of being one of the first 10 schools in the nation to
submit its Climate Action Plan to the American College and University
Presidents Climate Commitment.
Anderson’s new book, “Confession of a Radical
Industrialist,” offers a guide for manufacturing on how to become more
sustainable. But he said change is slow to come.
“We are in the very early days of this environmental revolution,” he
said. “The drive for this has to be business. The educational
institutions have enormous influence on how they train new business
leaders, but the push for this revolution has to come from the business
The library, dedicated this spring, is a 45,000-square foot facility
that includes many environmentally responsible features:
- Recycled and energy-efficient construction materials
- Dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals, reducing water usage by 30 percent
- Designated parking spaces for carpool and fuel-efficient vehicles
- Daylight available to 75 percent of its visitors.
Previously an asphalt parking lot for 300
automobiles, much of the 2.4 acre site surrounding the library has been
returned to green space, minimizing the building’s impact on the earth.
During site demolition last fall, asphalt and concrete were hauled
away for grinding and recycling. Workers minimized daily construction
waste by using separate containers to process recyclables like wood,
cardboard, plastic and scrap metal.
LEED is a voluntary, performance-oriented rating system where
credits are earned for satisfying criteria based on accepted energy and
environmental practices. Projects can achieve this certification by
earning points for excellence in areas including water efficiency,
energy use, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and
A four-year liberal arts and sciences college
affiliated with the United Methodist Church, LaGrange College is
consistently ranked in the top 10 and as a “best value” among 96
Southern baccalaureate colleges by U.S.News & World Report. The
college is the oldest private institution of higher learning in Georgia
and has an enrollment of more than 1,000 students.