Recognition continues for the renovation of Old Main. (Photo: Jacob Chinn/UA Alumni Association)
Recognition continues for the renovation of Old Main. (Photo: Jacob Chinn/UA Alumni Association)

Renovated Old Main Receives LEED Silver Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council has given the UA's iconic centerpiece LEED silver certification in recognition of its sustainable renovation.
July 15, 2015

The Old Main renovation project at the University of Arizona has received yet another important award: The building has been certified LEED silver by the U.S. Green Building Council. 

Old Main, at 123 years the oldest building in Arizona to receive LEED certification, joins numerous other LEED-certified buildings at the UA.

"Achieving a LEED Silver certification on this historic and iconic building is a very significant achievement, accomplished through the dedication and diligence of our entire design and construction team," said Peter Dourlein, the UA's assistant vice president of Planning, Design and Construction.

LEED certification is a globally recognized mark of achievement in green building design and construction.

"This is yet another great example of the University's leadership and commitment to sustainability," Dourlein said.

The Green Building Council provides an independent, third-party review and verification of how sustainable or green a building is designed and constructed. Other UA buildings, and their certification, include:

  • The Student Recreation Center, which has a LEED platinum rating.
  • UA residence halls Árbol de la Vida and Likins, which each achieved LEED platinum certification.
  • The Arizona Biomedical Collaborative at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which has a LEED gold rating.

The $13.5 million Old Main renovation project was completed in May 2014. The historic structure was stabilized, restored and brought up to current code compliance with modernized building systems that increased the building's energy efficiency. The useful and functional life of Old Main has been extended and the building has been restored to prominence in the Tucson community.

"Some of the major energy users in any institution are buildings," said Rodney Mackey, associate director of Planning, Design and Construction at the UA.

"The University of Arizona has a deep commitment to sustainability, so by pursuing LEED certification, we are striving to meet a level of sustainability that might otherwise not be a focus," Mackey said.

Old Main's renovation was led by the UA and teams from architectural firm Poster Frost Mirto Inc. and design-builder Sundt Construction Inc.

"There was an enormous amount of effort put in by all members of the team to get us to this point," Mackey said. "The UA, Poster Frost Mirto and also Sundt — all are passionate about sustainability, so it was a perfect synergy of interests. We are very pleased, very proud of the fact that we have achieved LEED silver."  

In addition to LEED certification, the renovation project already had received these awards:

  • The 2015 Governor's Heritage Preservation Grand Award
  • The Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission's Historic Preservation Award
  • Design-Build Institute of America's Western Pacific region Design-Build award
  • The National Award of Merit in Rehabilitation, Renovation and/or Restoration from the Design-Build Institute of America