The Charger Blog

Cutting-Edge Bergami Center is Certified ‘Good As Gold’

The University of New Haven’s newest building, the Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation, has earned a Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, recognizing the University’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.

March 24, 2021

By Laura Miller, Director of Energy and Sustainability

Image from Cybersecurity Legends zoom from January.
The Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation. (photo credit: Laura Miller)

I am delighted to share that the University of New Haven’s newest building, the Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation, has earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. This recognizes one of the key themes underlying the design and construction of this incredible new facility: sustainability.

The University of New Haven has shown a strong commitment to sustainability over the last ten years, particularly in the areas of operations and management. Adding a major building to a campus can be seen as being less environmentally friendly due to the need to develop the land, increase the impervious footprint, and reduce open space.

We made sure, though, from the start to approach the development of this new building with a sustainable mindset, which involved thinking about the best ways to reduce the impact on the environment. This meant examining all areas where we could support sustainability.

“Our focus as we created the vision for the Bergami Center was to provide a cutting-edge space that enhances the educational experience of our students, while ensuring that sustainability was at the forefront,” said Lou Annino, associate vice president and chief facilities officer. “The University community should take great pride in the Bergami Center and the opportunities it provides our students as well as our commitment to protecting and preserving the environment.”

The University now has three buildings – including Celentano Hall, our newest residence hall, and Westside Hall – that have been designed and constructed following the U.S. Green Building Council’s rating system known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED focuses on sustainability in five key categories: site selection, materials and resources, energy and atmosphere, water efficiency, and indoor environmental quality.

Buildings are awarded points within each of these categories based on their specific design criteria. The University was committed to ensuring that the Bergami Center was built to a LEED Gold standard, reflecting a high level of commitment to these sustainable practices.

The Bergami Center was constructed on a previously developed site, which helps to reduce the environmental impact that a new building might have. During construction, there can often be a number of wasted materials. But in the case of the Bergami Center, more than 75 percent of waste materials were diverted from landfills.

Materials within the Bergami Center were also sustainably sourced. For example, more than half of the wood in the buildings came from within a 500 mile radius of the University, supporting the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) criterion.

When it is safe to do so, I look forward to offering tours of the building. When visitors look around the Bergami Center, I want to be able to share with them the importance and the impact of the sustainable initiatives that are in operation.

Laura Miller is the University of New Haven’s director of energy and sustainability.