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UCO Forensic Science Institute First Higher Ed Building In State To Receive LEED Certification

Aug. 19, 2010

Media Contact: Adrienne Nobles, Director of Communications and Marketing, UCO University Relations, (405) 974-2103,


Advancing its commitment to sustainable, green practices, the University of Central Oklahoma received LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its new Forensic Science Institute (FSI) building. It's the first college or university building to receive the distinction in the state.

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures.

The university's Architectural and Engineering Services office worked closely with Frankfurt Short Bruza (FSB) Architects and Timberlake Construction throughout the design and construction process to meet the USGBC LEED standards.

"LEED certification takes a lot of extra planning and work, but it was important to us here at Central because we are committed to sustainability throughout the campus," said UCO President W. Roger Webb.

"We were fortunate to have experienced partners like FSB and Timberlake, who committed themselves to this process, too. The result is a facility we can be proud of in so many ways for its function, design, and 'green' properties."

To achieve LEED certification, a building project must meet specific criteria and benchmarks outlined in the application.

For the FSI building, the USGBC cited areas such as construction waste management, recycled content, use of regional and "low-emitting" building materials and water use reduction in awarding the certification.

Specifically, nearly 94-percent of on-site construction waste was diverted from a landfill, more than 13-percent of the building materials were manufactured using recycled materials and the building construction reduces water use by 36-percent.

Additionally, just over 22-percent of the building materials used were extracted, harvested, recovered or manufactured within 500 miles of the project, and nearly 60-percent of the wood-based building materials used came from Forest Stewardship Council certified forests.

Other areas where the building received credit included access to alternative transportation like bus routes, the presence of bicycle racks and providing three preferred parking spaces for low-emitting fuel efficient vehicles.

"This LEED certification illustrates how committed UCO is to sustainability and green initiatives. UCO should be a model for other universities across the nation. FSB is very proud to have designed UCO's first LEED Certified facility," said FSB Principal Philip McNayr.

Bryan Timberlake, president of Timberlake Construction, added, "We commend UCO for their continued commitment to sustainable programs and practices on their campus. Timberlake Construction is honored to have contributed to this process on the new Forensic Science Institute."

Students began attending class in the new 35,000 square-foot building in January, which includes a 165-seat auditorium, four classrooms, an evidence recovery training bay, office space for FSI faculty and the AT&T Digital Evidence and Cyber-Security Laboratory.

Located across the street from the new Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) facility, the FSI shares resources with the OSBI as well as local and federal law enforcement. This relationship will provide crime-fighting resources for law enforcement and the educational experience for Central students.

Central strives for sustainability in many ways throughout the campus, and is the only university in Oklahoma named a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partner for its purchase of 100-percent wind power.

Other efforts include on-site bio-diesel fuel production for select campus vehicles using cooking oil from campus dining facilities, alternative transportation like its Bum-a-Bike and car share programs, campus-wide recycling and use of energy efficient equipment throughout campus facilities.

For more information on the University of Central Oklahoma, visit


Editor's Note: Art for publication with this release may be downloaded at

Cutline: The University of Central Oklahoma's Forensic Science Institute recently received LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, recognizing that the building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. It's the first higher education building in the state to receive the certification.