FGBC Project Profile: Unique Museum Facility Given Rare Platinum Sustainability Certification

FGBC Project Profile: Unique Museum Facility Given Rare Platinum Sustainability Certification

GAINESVILLE – The Special Collections Building (UF-373) for the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville has received Platinum Certification from the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC), the coalition announced.

The recently completed, highly unique project was Haskell’s first design-build project for the University of Florida. For UF, it was a rare use of design-build delivery and the first to employ tilt-wall construction. Haskell delivers more than $2 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide.

“It gives us great pleasure to share that the Special Collections project was awarded the highest-level sustainable building certification through Florida Green Building Coalition!” wrote Dustin Stephany, Sustainable Building Coordinator UF Planning, Design, and Construction. “This achievement is very rare and shows the team’s leadership in developing a building that meets our clients’ needs for decades to come.

Due to its uniqueness, this project was under scrutiny and passed various on-site inspections, including indoor air quality, Florida WaterStar certification, as well as UF’s first commercial blower door test.

“This achievement demonstrates your commitment to construction practices that reduce the negative environmental impacts of the project, improve occupant health and well-being, and reduce operating costs for the owner,” said FGBC Executive Director CJ Davila.

The museum has functioned as Florida’s official repository of the state’s biodiversity and cultural heritage for more than 100 years. From mammoth bones to freshwater mollusks, ancient pottery and rare endemic plants, the Florida Museum has grown from a small collection of fossils and minerals at its establishment in the late nineteenth century to the more than 40 million specimens and cultural artifacts it holds today.

The new building houses the museum’s burgeoning “wet” collections, including all specimens preserved in ethyl or isopropyl alcohol.

FGBC Certification Programs tailors’ carbon-reducing, green building standards to the Florida climate, allowing builders, developers, and communities to meet green building standards while simultaneously constructing sustainable properties best suited for Florida’s ecosystem.

Unlike USGBC LEED, Green Globes, and other national and international standards, FGBC certification standards takes a scientific approach developed with state-specific criteria. They address Florida’s hot-humid environment, distinctive topography, unique geology, resiliency, and natural disasters.

The Special Collections Building is purpose-built for the safety of the university staff, student researchers and long-term preservation of the collections themselves. The Haskell team successfully accommodated the unique engineering and safety challenges involved in housing these materials, and includes systems designed to provide the highest level of life safety and fire suppression.

These features include specialized air handling, spark-free lighting fixtures, sprinklers, floor drains and storage tanks, large-scale fume hoods and temperature and air quality sensors that together meet stringent modern building codes for storing materials preserved in alcohol.

UF has been certifying green buildings for 20 years, transforming its campus into a global green building hub. The university has received green building certifications for 94 projects.

In 2000 the non-profit FGBC brought together industry professionals from the construction, government, academic and research communities to create green building standards tailored specifically to Florida. FGBC is by far the largest certifier of green residential and commercial construction, local governments, communities in the state with over 35,000 green certified projects.

Haskell has been No. 1 in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) rankings of the Top Green Building Contractors for three consecutive years and has been No. 1 on the list of Top Green Building Design Firms for the past two.

Going Green? In Florida you have a choice. Contact the Florida Green Building Coalition about your next project at info@floridagreenbuilding.org, visit www.floridagreenbuilding.org or call (407) 777-4914.

Florida Green Building Coalition