UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center LEEDs the Way in Sustainability
By Jenna Marina Lee
ORLANDO, Fla. (April 16, 2018) – The UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center (FAC) is not only one of the greenest buildings on campus – it was recognized over the weekend as one of the best in the Central Florida region.
The FAC won Most Outstanding Project of the Year (Existing Building) at the U.S. Green Building Council’s fifth annual LEEDership Awards on April 14.
The LEEDership Awards recognizes and honors the outstanding green building projects, forward-thinking businesses, innovative design teams and instrumental region members and volunteers who have displayed green building and sustainable development leadership in the greater Central Florida area.
UCF Advancement assistant directors Rachel Kennedy ’13 (left) and Ann Allen ’03 present the Project of the Year award.
In January 2018, the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Operations & Maintenance (LEED) Gold certification, established by the USGBC and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.
The FAC is one of 21 UCF projects to achieve LEED certification, however, it is the first building on campus to achieve certification under the operations and maintenance rating system. Like many of its peer institutions, UCF mandates LEED certification for all new construction and major renovations.
High performance buildings play an integral part in supporting UCF’s goal to reach climate neutrality by 2050. When complying with the high efficiency standards, UCF LEED buildings are consuming about 30 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than similar non-LEED buildings.
In 2016, the FAC pledged to green its workspace in alignment with the university’s commitment to sustainability.
In two years, the building has accomplished significant energy reductions by using low or no-cost facility improvement measures. It has recommissioned air handler units, improved the solar reflective index of the roof and changed LED lights to a lower color temperature. These energy upgrades show a payback of 6-to-12 months and incur a cost savings of more than two times the initial investment within one year.
Installation of low flush appliances, water conserving aerators and reclaim water irrigation helped in water conservation, reducing indoor water use by 31.1 percent from baseline and outdoor water use by 50.85 percent.
The FAC has served the campus for more than a decade, hosting everything from university functions to televised Senate debates to weddings to corporate meetings, press conferences, graduation regalia distribution and classroom space. To learn more about the FAC or rent the facility, please visit ucfalumni.com/alumnicenter.