Harvard Law School’s Wasserstein Hall, Caspersen Student Center, Clinical Wing building (WCC) has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – New Construction (LEED-NC) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The WCC—a new facility that houses approximately 250,000 square feet of innovative classrooms and student space—is a model of a “green” building, and is part of the Law School’s and Harvard’s commitment to reducing environmental impact and creating healthy buildings.

Internationally recognized, the LEED rating system grants four levels of sustainability certification—Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum—providing a framework for identifying and implementing green building design, construction, operation and maintenance. In order to meet LEED requirements, new construction must take into account elements such as sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere (heating and cooling), indoor environmental quality and innovation in design.

The WCC building features a rainwater capture system that uses runoff water to nourish the surrounding landscapes. There are also several green (vegetated) roofs and white-painted roofs that deflect sunlight from the building. Much recycled-content building material was used in WCC and 95% of the waste that was created during construction was recycled.

The interior of WCC features sensors that automatically shut off ventilation when windows are open, as well as carbon-dioxide sensors that adjust ventilation according to the number of people in the room. Lighting throughout the building is energy-efficient and has occupancy and daylight sensors. Windows in the building are “high-performance” and allow more heating from the sun depending on the outside temperature. There are filtered water stations throughout the building and the wood throughout WCC was sustainably harvested.

To learn more about WCC’s sustainable features, watch a video from the HLS Green Living Representatives here.

Harvard currently has 64 projects certified by LEED and 95 projects that are LEED registered and currently being processed for certification. A renovated suite of offices in the Law School’s Griswold Hall was the first LEED Platinum Commercial Interior Space in New England and the first among American universities.

A story and interactive map on Harvard’s LEED-certified buildings, by the Harvard Gazette, is available here.

The full UGBC-Harvard announcement is available here.

The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit organization committed to a sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.