The building will enhance learning, research and collaboration with other organizations. Furthermore, achieving Net-Zero, especially in South Carolina’s hot and humid climate, will encourage innovation and energy efficiency in higher education facilities throughout the state and the nation.
“It is our intention to serve as a demonstration of what is possible, a three-dimensional business case for sustainability that invites others to become sustainable enterprises, as well,” said Teegen.
The Moore School’s new $90 million facility will be located in the heart of Innovista, the university’s research district in downtown Columbia. At approximately 250,000 square feet, this new building will be the only large-scale net-zero energy building in the southeastern United States.
While the State of South Carolina requires all new government-funded commercial construction and renovations to achieve a green building rating of Silver in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System, the Moore School has committed to achieving a minimum of LEED Platinum but will pursue a rating of Net-Zero.
The methods and technologies developed during the construction of the Moore School building will guide construction of all new university facilities, ensuring that they go well beyond the state’s requirement of achieving LEED-Silver certification. The University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus currently has one LEED-Silver certified building and one LEED-Gold certified building, with others pending certification. The university has been committed to sustainability since 1998 when it joined with two other state universities to form the Sustainable Universities Initiative, pledging to incorporate sustainability into operations and academics.