Preserving history and creating a more green future
As a part of the Norman Hall Rehabilitation project, the historic building was updated to join the growing list of UF buildings going green. These updates qualified Norman Hall for a Gold Level Certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system for the commitment and move to environmentally sustainable construction.
“The program is in constant evolution and is challenging building professionals to design, build and maintain structures that are energy efficient, providing good air quality without jeopardizing the global environment,” Dustin Stephany, sustainable building coordinator at UF, said.
Stephany shared that UF excels at creating buildings that are energy and water efficient while having clean air.
This rehabilitation was the first since the construction of Norman Hall in 1932. During the last 88 years both student needs and eco-friendly innovations have changed. With the help of UF’s sustainable building coordinators led by Stephany, the newly renovated Norman Hall will meet the needs of current and future students within an environmentally conscious building.
“Norman Hall hasn’t actually ever gone through a major renovation ever since the building was constructed. The spaces were outdated, they needed to be improved” said Stephany. “We wanted to create an environment that was ideal for our students, faculty and staff and give them an opportunity to be as productive and learn.”
UF adopted the LEED criteria for design and construction in 2001 for all major renovations and new construction done so that the campus can meet the needs of students while minimizing the environmental consequences. As a result of the large scale restoration, The College of Education joined in the pledge to follow green guidelines for major construction done at UF.
For more than 15 years, UF has been implementing sustainable building practices and has more certified sustainable buildings than any other public university.
“Economically this building will be saving money for years to come, allowing the university to reallocate these funds to further support UF’s mission,” Stephany said. “This renovation will make the building more suitable for preparing the educators and leaders to address educational opportunities and challenges for the future.”
Despite the modernization, much of the original character of the buildings have been preserved and restored thanks to the hard work of the several teams involved with the project.
Plans to seek out funding began 30 years ago in the 1980s, according to Stephany. The Norman team wanted to both preserve the original aesthetic while surpassing modern efficiency requirements. Through their work they were able to preserve 96 percent of existing walls, foundations, floors and roof deck honoring the 1930s collegiate gothic aesthetic and meeting historic preservation requirements.