Sustainable Technologies and the Union Master Plan Project

The University of North Texas has been an advocate for sustainability practices and is undoubtedly a pioneer of the research and development of sustainable technologies. The Office of Sustainability was established to educate the UNT community, encourage individuals to support sustainability within construction and the use of resources, and allow the community to obtain awareness of the effects we cause on our environment. Sustainability and the technologies involved will surely become an even larger and more prominent component to the growth of UNT as a university. This includes sustainability within the renovations of the University Union, as the Master Plan includes an agenda for the latest in sustainable technologies.

Sustainability is the maintenance of the well-being of our social, economic, and physical environment through efficient use of resources and various construction practices that produce the lowest possible impact upon the environment. It is the preservation of a natural and healthy world through awareness and action. UNT couldn’t be any more familiar with the topic.

UNT has already established a policy that requires each building constructed to obtain a minimum LEED Silver certification. The recently constructed Life Sciences Complex received Gold-level LEED certification. The University is currently striving to become a Tier 1 research institution with strengths in sustainability research and development. UNT’s Discovery Park location will soon hold a portion of the facility devoted to research in sustainability practices and technologies. Not only is the University demonstrating sustainability within the construction of its facilities, but also playing a key role in the development of the sustainable technologies through its efforts in research. Students should expect the renovations of their Union to include the latest in sustainable technologies. 

For information on the LEED certification system, visit www.usgbc.org/LEED

The current University Union, built in the 1960s, holds envirnmental concerns due to its age and the levels of maintenance required. The Master Plan aims to rid the facility of any negative enviromental impact. This includes renovations that prevent future issues in the facility and lessen the possibility of expensive and difficult long-term maintenance. Another agenda within the Master Plan is upgraded efficiencies within the facility itself such as air conditioning, heating, plumbing, water, electricity, and energy usage. These sustainability practices to the physical facility will save money and help to prevent maintenance issues in the future. The Union Master Plan expects the facility to receive Gold-level LEED certification.

For more information about the Office of Sustainability or sustainability practices at UNT, visit www.sustainable.unt.edu

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