90% of UMD's emissions come from heating and powering campus buildings. Energy efficient buildings are key to attaining goals outlined in UMD's Energy Action Plan, including a 25% reduction in emissions from 2007 levels by 2020, and operating a carbon neutral campus by 2050.
One way to measure and ensure that buildings are built and operated to conserve energy, water, and other resources is through LEED-certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and was developed by the U.S. Green Buildings Council as a third-party green building certification system. Since 2008, UMD has constructed three LEED-certified buildings. Ianni Hall is currently in the process of applying for LEED-certification.
Constructing efficient buildings is important, but the majority of greenhouse gas emissions come from the operation of a building during its lifespan. Upgrading and maintaining existing buildings for efficiency is critical to lowering campus emissions, LEED-certification is also granted for upgrading existing buildings.
Due to the fact that UMD is already committed to sustainable design, construction, and renovation, the LEED-certificaiton process does not significantly increase the cost of building and upgrading.
Other buildings that have been upgraded for energy efficiency, but did not seek LEED certification, include: