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Giving Sustainability

Sustainability at SIUE
Whether through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifiable construction projects in its buildings or the campus bike share and recycling programs initiated by the Sustainability Advisory Group, SIUE encourages environmental preservation and stewardship, while promoting scholarship.


Basking in the sun on the cool, white Science Lab Building West roof is the newest renewable power source on campus — a 30 kilowatt solar array. It’s one of many examples of SIUE’s commitment to sustainability. The array’s electrical output displayed on video monitors in the new building is a continuing demonstration of renewable solar power’s possibilities and practical application.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has certified SIUE’s Charles and Mary Lukas Athletics Annex, adjacent to the Vadalabene Center, as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver building. It is the third structure on the SIUE campus — the second academic building — to achieve LEED distinction. Along with an apartment building in Cougar Village being awarded a LEED-certified residential award, the Art and Design Building Expansion was the first academic building to be so recognized, achieving LEED Gold certification last September.

All current construction and infrastructure improvement projects are being built with sustainable features in mind, so that the University can pursue LEED certification.

The LEED Gold Art & Design West is plush with sustainable highlights including:

  • Reduced energy and water consumption compared with standard buildings — at 26 percent and 35 percent, respectively

  • Highly reflective roofing that reduces heat absorption

  • High performance glass allowing high visibility with less solar heat gain, and exterior sun screens to further reduce solar heat gain and glare

  • Occupancy lighting sensors for automatic shut-off when occupants are not present

SIUE is second in the region only to Washington University in St. Louis among university campuses in the number of LEED buildings. Once all our eligible buildings attain LEED certification, SIUE will tie for first in the state with the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, with seven LEED buildings.

LEED certification is an official recognition that a project complies with the requirements prescribed within the LEED-rating systems as created and maintained by the USGBC. The certification program is administered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

“As a University, we have a recognized commitment to excellence inside and outside the classroom,” said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. “The sustainable features in our LEED-certified and LEED-certifiable structures on campus are a testament to that commitment. We support an environment that fosters an enhanced educational experience for our faculty and students.”

SIUE is awaiting LEED certification for four more buildings:

  • The new Science Lab Building West

  • The renovation to the original Science Building — Science Lab Building East

  • The SIUE School of Engineering Annex

  • The School of Dental Medicine Multidisciplinary Simulation Lab in Alton.

The $50 million Science Building West is the newest structure on the SIUE campus. The facility features state-of-the-art laboratories for research and teaching and opened for use in fall 2013. We are proud to report that the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) provided a $103,000 grant to provide financial assistance to reach the goal of providing a portion of the new building’s electricity from the sun’s rays. The ICECF collaborated with the University, the Illinois Capital Development Board, Hastings & Chivetta architects, BRiC Partnership engineers and contractor JF Electric, Inc., to make the $230,000 solar array functional and effective.

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS® was developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) with broad participation from the higher education community. SIUE completed its first report and received a bronze rating.

Learn more about what SIUE is doing to promote sustainable initiatives.

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