Talley Student Union Scores LEED Silver Certification

Talley Student Union's open design utilizes ample daylighting, which contributes toward the building's sustainability efforts.
Talley Student Union’s open design and ample daylighting contribute toward the building’s sustainability efforts.

Talley Student Union has been awarded national certification for sustainability.

The  U.S. Green Building Council recently designated the building as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building at the Silver level.

Construction of the 283,000-square-foot building began in 2011 as a renovation and expansion of the former student center, reducing construction costs and landfill waste associated with building an entirely new student union. Other sustainable features of the building include:

  • Open design that maximizes daylight and occupant health and productivity
  • Building materials that were sourced regionally or made of recycled content
  • Low-emitting finishes and furniture that preserve optimum indoor air quality
  • High-efficiency plumbing fixtures and a 50,000-gallon, underground cistern that harvests rainwater for use in irrigation
  • Landscaping with drought-tolerant plants that are native to this region, paved paths designed to reflect heat, and rain gardens that naturally filter and absorb stormwater
  • Energy-saving, high-performance mechanical systems and windows, exterior shading and roofing material that reflects the sun
  • Infrastructure necessary for future installation of green roofs, which are covered by a layer of plants in order to reduce a building’s cooling costs and impacts from stormwater
  • During construction nearly all discarded materials were reused or recycled, and robust recycling and composting programs now exist to ensure sustainability in the building’s daily operations
  • Strategic proximity to public and campus transit, resulting in reduced automotive use from the building’s users

“LEED certified buildings are designed for better impact on people and the environment. That’s why NC State has committed that all new construction greater than 20,000 square feet will pursue LEED certification,” said Liz Bowen, a University Sustainability Office program coordinator who focuses on sustainable buildings and infrastructure.

Talley is the fourteenth university building since 2011 to earn LEED certification, bringing the total amount of LEED-certified space on campus to more than 900,000 square feet.

In addition to sustainability certification, Talley’s sustainable operations provide ongoing opportunities to educate campus about sustainable practices.

“With an average of more than 10,000 visits a day, Talley has a unique opportunity to model and educate about sustainability,” said TJ Willis, associate director of NC State’s University Student Centers.