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McKinley Building Earns LEED Gold Certification


American University’s McKinley Building, home to the School of Communication, earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) New Construction (NC) Gold certification in the fall of 2015.

School of Communication Dean Jeff Rutenbeck said, “At the School of Communication we seek to instill a forward-thinking, entrepreneurial spirit in our research, teaching, and creative work, and the LEED Gold designation celebrates those sensibilities. We are grateful to both the university as well as the donors and partners who have made this possible.” 

This LEED certification comes as a result of AU’s concerted effort to adhere to the university’s Green Building Policy which states that all construction implemented on campus must meet or exceed LEED Gold status. McKinley’s green features include:

  • Green roofs (viewable from the third floor)
  • Water-efficient landscaping that features native and adaptive species
  • A location that is walking distance from numerous community resources including a bank, pharmacy, church, convenience store, and restaurants
  • Easy access to the MetroBus and the AU shuttle to the Tenleytown Metro-station
  • Toilets and sinks that are low-flow, water-saving fixtures
  • Energy efficient design that uses 22 percent less energy than a traditionally built building
  • The purchase by AU of 100 percent renewable energy credits
  • Lighting level controls at work stations and shared spaces
  • Usage of a green cleaning plan

McKinley is not the only building on AU’s campus that is LEED certified. Gray Hall recently received LEED Silver certification, and the School of International Service was the first building on campus to receive LEED Gold certification in 2011.