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New Building at Yerkes Attains LEED Gold Certification

September 8, 2009

Second Yerkes Building to Attain LEED Certification

Media Contacts

Emily Rios, 404-727-7732,; Lisa Newbern, 404-727-7709,

ATLANTA, GA – The Clinical Veterinary Medicine Administration Research Building (CVMAR) at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center Field Station recently was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The facility, located in Lawrenceville, GA, is the second Yerkes building to receive LEED certification and one of only three Emory University buildings to achieve the Gold level.

Among the significant achievements for the new 18,000-square-foot facility are:

  • 56 percent water use reduction because of
  • low-flow fixtures
  • 23 percent energy cost savings
  • 98.8 percent construction waste diverted
  • from the landfill through recycling
  • 27.9 percent use of recycled content
  • 50 percent use of regional materials

In addition, the building uses reflective roofing to reduce heat, which provides energy savings, and the building has several features specifically focused on improving indoor air quality. These include low-emitting (low VOC) construction materials, increased ventilation rates and multiple CO2 sensors and airflow monitors located throughout the building. To supplement these energy-saving measures and to encourage alternative transportation options, the Yerkes Research Center installed bike racks and created priority parking spaces for low-emitting, fuel-efficient vehicles.

“Greening” of the new building was a team effort between the Yerkes Research Center, Emory University, HDR CUH2A Architects, PBS&J and Turner Construction Company with Energy Ace leading the LEED administration.

“It was very important to everyone at Yerkes, the Emory community and our neighbors in Gwinnett that our new facility be built in an environmentally conscious way,” said Stuart Zola, PhD, Director, Yerkes Research Center. “Working with our design and construction partners, we remained focused on this goal and were honored with the Gold certification for our environmental sustainability efforts,” he continued.

The CVMAR, which also earned Innovation in Design credits from the USGBC, is the cornerstone for new programs using social colonies of genetically typed nonhuman primates to help researchers understand the interaction between genetics and environment and the roles they play in human health and disease. Additionally, local area students will have the unique opportunity of carrying out their senior honors theses under the mentorship of Yerkes researchers using the cutting-edge genetics and behavioral labs in the CVMAR.

For nearly eight decades, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, has been dedicated to conducting essential basic science and translational research to advance scientific understanding and to improve the health and well-being of humans and nonhuman primates. Today, the center, as one of only eight National-Institutes of Health-funded national primate research centers, provides leadership, training and resources to foster scientific creativity, collaboration and discoveries. Yerkes-based research is grounded in scientific integrity, expert knowledge, respect for colleagues, an open exchange of ideas and compassionate quality animal care.

Within the fields of microbiology, immunology, neuroscience and psychobiology, the center’s research programs are seeking ways to: develop vaccines for infectious and noninfectious diseases, such as AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease; treat cocaine addiction; interpret brain activity through imaging; increase understanding of progressive illnesses such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s; unlock the secrets of memory; determine behavioral effects of hormone replacement therapy; address vision disorders; and advance knowledge about the evolutionary links between biology and behavior.

HDR CUH2A is a comprehensive professional services firm dedicated to design and creative problem solving for complex science and technology facilities, including specialty niches in nanotechnology and bio-containment. HDR CUH2A has designed more than 200 million square feet of research and development and health-care space worldwide in fulfillment of our mission to better the human condition.

PBS&J offers comprehensive consulting services to public and private clients facing the challenges of new and aging infrastructure, environmental protection and restoration, sustainability and “smart” growth, program funding, and limited staff. The company’s integrated approach to project solutions builds value for clients and helps advance the best practices of the industries we serve.

Turner Construction Company is committed to the success and increased adoption of sustainable construction practices throughout the industry. As part of this effort, we train all new hires in the theory and practice of green building, emphasizing the LEED rating system. We believe Green buildings are not only good for the environment; they also provide immediate and long-term economic benefits for developers, building owners and occupants.

Energy Ace is a premier sustainability consulting firm helping architects, engineers, building owners and developers design, create and operate sustainable environments. Founded in 2002, Energy Ace is comprised of highly skilled professionals including engineers, LEED Accredited Professionals and Certified Commissioning Agents who are dedicated to delivering sustainability services of the highest quality to our clients. Energy Ace offers a full suite of services, including LEED Consulting, building commissioning and energy modeling, to ensure that sustainability programs are both successful and fully optimized, and offers the industry’s only Green Guaranteed™ promise.

The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include the Emory University School of Medicine, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and Rollins School of Public Health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. Emory Healthcare includes: The Emory Clinic, Emory-Children's Center, Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Wesley Woods Center, and Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.5 billion budget, 17,600 employees, 2,500 full-time and 1,500 affiliated faculty, 4,700 students and trainees, and a $5.7 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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