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ORAU Gets the "Gold" for New Environmentally Friendly Building

ORAU's Center for Science Education is First New Office Building in Tennessee to Be LEED Gold Certified

Nov. 18, 2009

ORAU Gets the “Gold” for New Environmentally Friendly Building

Pictured L to R: ORAU President Andy Page received the official LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from Elizabeth Eason and Steve Weiand, both from the East Tennessee U.S. Green Building Council, for ORAU’s Center for Science Education (CSE) at a ceremony on Nov. 17. The CSE is the first new office building in Tennessee to receive the LEED Gold distinction.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—ORAU's Center for Science Education (CSE) was recognized as the first new office building in Tennessee to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-level certification at a ceremony held on Nov. 17.

Representatives from the East Tennessee U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)—Elizabeth Eason and Steve Weiand—presented ORAU's President Andy Page with the prestigious certification.

"The CSE building project used criteria provided by the USGBC to track its progress in earning LEED certification points," Eason said. "The credit range under the LEED Gold New Construction category is 39–51 credits, and I’m proud to announce that ORAU earned 41 documented and approved credits for Gold certification."

Upon accepting the award, Page said that it "only makes sense that the Center for Science Education, which focuses on technology of the future, also works to protect the future of our environment. This certification proves that the [CSE] is optimal for the health and well-being of our employees, the use of resources and the protection of the environment."

The LEED Green Building rating system is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance, sustainable buildings.

ORAU received the esteemed Gold-level distinction based on excellence in five categories:

  • sustainable site development
  • water savings
  • energy efficiency
  • materials selection
  • indoor environmental quality

"Early models suggest that energy use could be reduced by 20 to 25 percent, and water usage reduced by 35 percent, which is great news," Page said.

Joining ORAU in celebrating its Gold-level status were partners, elected officals, community leaders, educators and friends, including Gerald Boyd, manager of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge Office (ORO), who said, "This is a special event for ORAU, the city of Oak Ridge and DOE, as it reinforces the commitment we share to pursue a sustainable future for our community and nation."

Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan noted the positive example that the ORAU building sets for all who enter its doors. "As students and teachers enter this building to learn more about the latest technology or classroom techniques, they are also seeing firsthand how ORAU's new office building reflects a commitment to the environment and a caring for them and all others who share it," Beehan said.

During the ceremony, Page took time to recognize and thank those whose dedication made the new CSE and its LEED certification possible, including Partners Development; architectural firm Benefield Richters; Blaine Construction; Ron Townsend, executive vice president of Global Operations for Battelle and former ORAU president; Rac Cox, director of ORAU’s Facilities and Transportation Department and his team, and other internal ORAU contributors.

To see a video of the ceremony and speeches, visit To learn more about ORAU’s LEED certification, please visit

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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