Lewis & Clark College has made a commitment to integrate environmentally responsible development practices into its construction program. These practices are generally known as ‘green architecture’ or ‘green building’ and imply a development methodology that stresses solving the needs of the present, without diminishing the resources necessary to solve the needs of the future. In building construction, this is normally accomplished by creating architecture that minimizes use of natural resources, energy, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants and maximizes use of recycled materials. We believe that sustainable development concepts, applied to the design, construction, operation, renovation, and demolition of our buildings and landscape, can enhance the economic well being and environmental health of the College.
Our basic strategy will be to implement sustainable development construction practices to the maximum extent possible without increasing baseline construction costs. If the first costs of implementing a particular sustainable development strategy exceed the costs of "traditional" technology, then the sustainable development strategy will be evaluated on the basis of life cycle cost/benefit analysis and evaluated against other project priorities. To implement this strategy, the college has adopted the US Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy and Environmental design (LEED) methodology.
The LEED system was established by the US Green Building Council to recognize buildings that incorporate into their design and construction methods a specific minimum level of sustainable technology. The LEED system is a four tiered rating system with each level of achievement requiring implementation of a greater number of sustainable development techniques. All Lewis & Clark College projects must meet the LEED ‘Certified’ level of sustainable development. Projects may or may not be registered. The LEED standard was selected as our measure because it is and industry-wide standard, with clear and objective evaluative tools and guidelines for measuring progress towards sustainable development objectives. Strategies to exceed the Certified level of sustainability will be evaluated using life cycle cost analysis and in the context of other project priorities.