Harvard Kennedy School earns a Gold Starr

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Harvard Kennedy School has earned a Gold Starr.

The Starr Auditorium renovation project, which was completed in the summer of 2013, earned LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in September.

LEED is the USGBC’s leading rating system for designing and constructing energy efficient, high performing buildings.

The purpose of the renovation was to raise the auditorium floor and change the slope of the room as well as improve the seating, teaching wall, and overall learning experience within the space. The LEED certification is based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. For instance, 91 percent of the waste from the project was recycled, occupancy sensors were tied to the heating and cooling system, and LED light fixtures — which last two times longer than fluorescent lights — were installed.

“This project really went above and beyond what we expected,” said Michael Swenson, Green Building Services project manager.

In line with the University-wide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent below 2006 levels by 2016, HKS worked closely with Harvard Planning and Project Management to ensure sustainability and energy efficiency were at the center of all design decisions made throughout the Starr Auditorium renovation project.