What is LEED?
LEED logo
LEED®, and its related logo, is a trademark owned by the U.S. Green Building Council® and is used with permission.

An acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), LEED is a comprehensive suite of certification systems that measures sustainability in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of homes, buildings, and neighborhoods. The LEED rating system can be applied to new construction, major renovation projects, and existing building operations. JMU Policy 1703 requires all new building construction or new renovation to existing buildings to be designed under one of three green building standards. These are LEED, Green Globes, and The Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards (VEES). Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED certification promotes best-in-class green building and design techniques that reduce negative environmental impacts while improving occupant health.

How does a building earn LEED certification?

After meeting certain prerequisites, buildings receive LEED certification by earning a certain number of points. To earn points, buildings must demonstrate exemplary performance across seven key areas of environmental sustainability: innovation and design process, sustainable sites, materials and resources, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, and location and transportation.

What are the different levels of LEED certification?

There are four levels of certification: certified, silver, gold, and platinum. After a thorough set of design and construction reviews, the number of points a project earns from LEED determines the certification level the project will receive.

LEED Graph

What are the benefits of LEED certification?

Across the globe, LEED certification is recognized as a premier mark of achievement in green building design. Our LEED-certified buildings demonstrate JMU’s commitment to sustainable green building practices that are socially, economically, and environmentally responsible. 



LEED-certified Buildings at JMU:

To learn more about our LEED-certified buildings, click the images of the buildings below. 

Wayland Sign
Wayland Hall

LEED Version: NC 2.2

Certification Date: 1/11/2012

Wayland Hall is the first renovated residence hall in the United States to achieve platinum-level LEED certification. The four-story, 41,000 square foot hall houses over 170 students and has been named one of the “Ten Greenest Dorms in the World” by BestOnlineColleges.com. Unique features include a ground source “geothermal” heat system circulating water through a series of pipes to exchange heat between the residence hall, the ground source heat pump, and the ground —contributing to a remarkable 39% reduction in energy consumption. In addition, a 10,000 gallon cistern harvests rainwater for toilet conveyance, contributing to reducing the building’s potable water usage by 91%.

Student Success Center
 Student Success Center

Version: LEED CI 2.0

Certification Date: 8/11/2015

The 250,000 square foot renovated building is home to 20 different departments with offices for nearly 300 faculty and staff. The Student Success Center includes a number of energy conserving features such as high efficiency fluorescent and LED lighting, demand-controlled ventilation, occupancy light sensors to save energy in unused spaces, and a highly reflective roof membrane to reduce cooling loads.  Materials for the renovation were also sourced with sustainable practices – 10% of all materials contained recycled content, 20% were sourced regionally, and all wood used certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

East Campus Dining Hall

Version: LEED NC 2.2

Certification Date: 4/30/2010

The East Campus Dining Hall (E-Hall) is a 700-seat, 48,900 square foot, gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified facility. This large indoor dining space features expansive windows on three sides of the building allowing for 89% of the regularly occupied spaces to be daylit. With energy efficient features such as motion light sensors and advanced kitchen hoods with optical sensors, E-Hall has reduced energy consumption by 32.9% and energy cost by 22.2%. As a dining facility, special consideration went to initiating a comprehensive waste reduction effort which includes composting pre and post-consumer food waste. 

university park plants
University Park

Version: LEED NC 2.2

Certification Date: 1/1/2013

University Park, intended to serve as the students’ back yard, consists of outdoor recreation spaces for drop-in recreation, intramural sports, and sport club programs. Notably, this silver-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified space features vegetated space on over 45% of the site, a unique StormFilter to capture and remove pollutants from runoff, and efficient plumbing fixtures that reduce water use by 45.2% compared to the LEED baseline.

biosciences building
Biosciences Building

Version: LEED NC 2.2

Certification Date: 8/13/2013

This 90,000 square foot academic facility earned silver-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification thanks to its innovative energy-saving techniques. One of the most important features incorporated is a reflective green roof to reduce the heat island effect – where urban areas experience warmer temperatures because buildings and roads replace open land and vegetation. The Biosciences Building also incorporates energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems, dual-technology occupancy light sensors, and surrounding gardens to capture water runoff and prevent pollution.  With outdoor teaching spaces, a microscopy suite, an integrated greenhouse, and more laboratories than classrooms, this building promotes experiential learning, focused research, and student collaboration.

Duke Hall
Duke Hall

Version: LEED NC v2009 (v3)

Certification Date: 3/27/2015

Originally constructed in 1967, this home to the School of Art, Design, and Art History underwent a complete renovation, increasing the total size of the building to 114,000 square feet while conserving the existing walls, floors, and roof. In addition to reusing building materials, 11% of new renovation materials contained recycled content, 14% of materials were sourced from within 500 miles of campus, and 81% of wood was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as wood responsibly sourced. 

Grace Street Housing
Apartments at Grace

Version: LEED NC v2009 (v3)

Certification Date: 2/17/2016

Remediating a former brownfield site containing hazardous materials, the new Apartments on Grace is now home to the largest residence hall on campus with over 500 students living in 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. In earning LEED-Silver, designers focused their efforts on resident comfort and health by ensuring indoor air quality through the use of low-emitting materials (paints, sealants, adhesives) and giving students control of lighting and temperature in their apartment suite. 

UREC Picture
UREC Addition

Version: LEED NC v2009 (v3)

Certification Date: 9/7/2016

Doubling the original University Recreational Center (UREC) in size, the UREC addition adds a one-sixth mile indoor track, a fitness and instructional pool, and two basketball and volleyball courts to the growing list of recreational amenities available to students on campus. While overtaking the site of a former turf field students used, the UREC Addition was able to recycle turf removed, re-use field lighting at other locations, and re-purpose soil excavated for other projects on campus – just a few of the reasons why this new addition earned LEED-Silver certification. 

USB Annex

Version: LEED NC v2009 (v3)

Certification Date: 4/5/2018

Constructed in 2017, USB Annex is a 20,700 square foot building housing staff and services for JMU Grounds department, namely: landscaping, housekeeping, carpentry, and paint shops. Sustainable design of the building included a 26% and 22% reduction in energy and water usage respectively. Additionally, 97% of construction waste was diverted from the landfill and 26% of building materials were extracted and manufactured regionally within 500 miles from the site.

Madison Hall

Version: LEED NC v2009 (v3)

Certification Date: 4/24/2018

Madison Hall, originally constructed in 1989 and fully renovated in 2017 is a 70,000 square foot administrative building in the north side of JMU campus. Madison Hall is home to staff from Admissions, the Graduate School, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Title IX, Valley Scholars, the Center for Global Engagement, and Physics. Sustainable designs of the building include a 21% reduction in energy usage and 38% reduction in water usage when compared to baseline. In addition, approximately 90% of construction waste from the building was diverted from the landfill and 19% of building materials were extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the site. To reinforce Madison Hall’s sustainable designs, JMU has implemented a green housekeeping and a low mercury lamp-purchasing program for the building. JMU also developed a sustainable transportation management plan for the building that will reduce carbon emisisons related to travel.


Helpful Links

Office of Environmental Stewardship

Want to learn more about our sustainability efforts across campus and what you can do to participate? View our Environmental Stewardship Tour.

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