Klarman Hall, Cornell University’s recently opened College of Arts and Sciences building, has officially been awarded LEED Platinum certification. In order to earn LEED Platinum status, a project must earn a total of 80 or more LEED points, and the building earned 87 out of a possible 110 points – the most Cornell has ever received on a LEED certified project. The LEED certification of Klarman Hall is Cornell’s 19th LEED certified campus building or space, and the fourth LEED platinum certified building on the main campus.
The building planners utilized a variety of sustainability efforts to achieve LEED Platinum certification, including a custom rainwater harvesting system designed and built by Wahaso. The water harvesting system was a part of Klarman Hall’s building plans, as it was a new construction project, but the system also required a retro-fit design for the current Goldman Smith Hall. Rainwater is collected from the rooftops of both buildings, as well as from the 1,200 square feet of green roof space on Klarman Hall. The rainwater is then cleaned, sanitized, and pressurized for reuse in toilet flushing throughout both buildings, and unused rainwater is stored in a 6,000 gallon cistern.
Reclaimed water from the rainwater harvesting system provides Klarman and Goldman Smith Hall with approximately 1,950 gallons of water each day for toilet flushing, which reduces the need to use potable water for this purpose. As reported by the Cornell Chronicle, the system has reduced municipal water use by about 70 percent. In addition to the water harvesting system, Klarman Hall also features photovoltaic arrays to offset energy use, a 7,700 square foot sunlight filled atrium with an environmental sunshade, and 1,200 square feet of green roof space.
By incorporating water harvesting into a building’s sustainability efforts, projects can earn up to 15 points towards LEED certification. As a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) member, Wahaso encourages and supports building owners in achieving LEED certification through water harvesting initiatives. Interested in learning more? Check out our LEED certification page or contact us today.
About the Writer: Emily Avellana is an Elmhurst College graduate with a degree in Marketing, and a Marketing Assistant at Wahaso.