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NKU Rec Center Earns LEED Gold Certification

The renovation and expansion of Northern Kentucky University’s Campus Recreation Center has earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The designation makes the center the “greenest” facility on campus and among the greenest in the region. The Campus Recreation Center is located inside the 221,461 square-foot Albright Health Center on NKU’s Highland Heights campus.

“We designed the project to be LEED Silver, and we are very happy to report that the project exceeded our expectations in achieving LEED Gold status,” said Syed Zaidi, assistant vice president for facilities management. “We are committed to incorporating sustainable features into the planning, design, and construction of every new facility on campus, and we are pleased that those efforts have been recognized.”

The $48 million expansion and renovation was completed in October 2015. The Campus Recreation Center grew from 84,000 square feet to 169,000 and now features state-of-the-art amenities available free of charge to NKU students, faculty, and staff and to community members for a nominal membership fee.

A wide variety of sustainable features were incorporated into the planning, design, and construction of the Campus Recreation Center, including:

  • 80 geothermal wells, each 400 feet deep, heat and cool the facility;
  • By renovating part of an existing building rather than building a new one, the amount of waste sent to landfills was reduced by 75 percent;
  • The landscape design and plant selections helped reduce the demand for water irrigation by 50 percent;
  • The building is 36 percent more energy efficient than baseline building performance standards.

The project was designed by Omni Architects of Lexington and Cannon Design of St. Louis. The lead engineering firm for the project was CMTA Consulting Engineers of Louisville and the construction manager was Pepper Construction.

The Campus Recreation Center is the second building on campus to be LEED Certified and the first to achieve LEED Gold certification. NKU’s Griffin Hall, which opened in 2011, is certified LEED Silver.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is globally-recognized symbol of excellence in “green” building. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, the certification system includes nine measurements for building excellence, from water efficiency to the materials used in construction. A project can earn one of four rating levels: LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold, or LEED Platinum.

For more information about NKU’s sustainability efforts, visit

From NKU/Photo provided