Design principal Roland Lemke will offer a unique perspective at the Association of College Unions International’s annual conference in April.

Roland will present the session, “LEED Platinum Union: Challenges and Opportunities,” with Eddie Daniels from the University of Florida, and Paul Parry from KJWW.

Since the original Reitz Student Union was built in 1967, UF’s student body has grown from 19,000 students to 50,000, with nearly 1,000 student organizations call the union home–clearly showing growth well beyond the original capacity.

In 2009, the student government, citing the growing student population and increasing maintenance issues, pushed for a new student union. Students and organizations identified needs for study spaces, food venues and gathering places. UF’s leadership focused on a new facility that would not only support the diverse student population and celebrate student life, but create an energy-efficient building, and greatly enhance comfort and functionality.

UF and student union representatives, along with the architect and engineer will compare the pros and cons of architectural, HVAC, plumbing and electrical energy savings strategies. We will demonstrate how an energy saving impact analysis tool was used to determine the appropriate strategy for each major building component.

Attendees will also learn how the University of Florida is meeting their visional goal of carbon neutrality, requiring collaboration among campus units and the development of widespread partnerships within the broader community.