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What is LEED?



Currently, Emory has several LEED buildings ranging from “Certified” to “Gold” levels with many others in the process of applying for LEED certification.

The LEED program was established by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to promote environmentally friendly, whole building design practices and competition among project teams. By creating this competitive atmosphere, the demand for materials and supplies that are resource conscious will increase, thus, causing manufacturers to respond with more green products in the market place. The competitive nature of this program will also encourage designers to think in new and different ways to help create buildings that will conserve energy, water, and the project site's natural environment. LEED is a response to the need for more sustainable development in a society that is spending natural resources at an alarming rate.

Candler Library Renovation and Expansion attained the 1st SILVER LEED certification on campus for a renovation project.  The Whitehead Biomedical Research Building is also a LEED Silver building, with many others on campus in the process of applying for LEED.

Holly lifted by crane

Holly tree being lifted by crane


Goals of Greening Candler

The Candler Library Renovation and Expansion project strived to think in new and innovative ways to design and construct a building which conserves energy, water and helped to preserve the natural environment. CH2M HILL worked with Emory and Candler Library's design team to obtain the highest Green Building Rating possible. The project achieved a SILVER LEED rating.

LEED-related items implemented:

Alternative Transportation

This building is served by Emory’s alternative transportation system which consists of clean burning natural gas and electric buses which reduces local emissions and result in a no net increase in vehicle parking.  Occupants have access to eight bus routes available within a ¼ mile of the building.  Bike racks and a changing/shower room were installed to support those who bike or walk to work.

Water Efficient

Low flow aerators were added to water fixtures resulting in a 30% reduction in water consumption.  This reduces the burden on municipal water supply and waste water systems.

Optimizing Energy Performance

Heating and cooling requirements were reduced by over 30% by careful selection of building system components, insulation and building automation and control devices.  Energy savings were also realized by utilizing variable speed motors and occupancy sensors.

Building Reuse

78% of the original building shell such as perimeter walls, marble cladding and roof trusses were retained as part of this project.

Recycling building materials

Recycling building materials


Recycled Content

60% of the new building materials used in constructing Candler Library were composed of recycled materials.

Local/Regional Materials

43% of the new raw building materials used in constructing Candler Library were manufactured within 500 miles of the job site thus reducing transportation costs and supporting the local economy. Over 50% of the locally manufactured materials were harvested regionally.

Low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emitting Materials

VOCs contribute to outdoor smog generation and also have negative health risks and impacts on building occupants. By using low VOC paints, carpets, and adhesives, both outdoor and indoor air quality were improved.


Fifteen thousand square feet of 1 1/2 " thick marble, weighing approximately 130 tons, was removed from the original Candler Library floors. The marble is currently being stored on campus. Some of the marble was reused in Candler Library as signage plaques, computer kiosk surfaces, Reading Room furniture tops, and accent walls. The remaining marble will be used in future projects around campus.

Tree Relocation

Prior to construction, four nearby holly trees were relocated. The holly trees were considered to have historic value because they were planted by the late Woolford B. Baker, beloved professor of biology, protector of Emory's natural resources, and namesake of the campus's Baker Woodlands. The trees were an exceptional size and variety and included two specimen Ilex latifolias and two Ilex opacas. The process for moving the trees (the largest weighed over six tons) required hand-digging a rootball, wrapping the rootball with burlap, lifting the tree from the ground using a crane, and moving it to a new site for careful replanting. Although we didn’t earn an innovative credit for this process, it was an important aspect and goal of our project.


Press for Emory & LEED Links

Multimedia Reports

Newspaper Articles

The following links are PDFs. To view them you will need Adobe Acrobat and may download it free from Adobe.com.

LEED Links

  • The United States Green Building Council (USGBC)ís LEED Program


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