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Baskin Center Awarded Gold-Level LEED Certification

College of Law building is largest LEED-certified university academic building in Middle Tennessee

The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Belmont University’s Randall and Sadie Baskin Center with LEED certification at the Gold level, making the building the largest LEED-certified university academic building in Middle Tennessee as well as the first LEED-certified law school building in the state, according to information provided by the USGBC. The 75,000-square-foot Baskin Center sits atop a five-level underground garage and houses Belmont University’s College of Law, a program starting its second year of classes.

The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review are Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design.

“In the design, construction, maintenance and operations of the Baskin Center, we sought to use less energy, reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a healthier environment for students, employees and the larger community,” said Belmont President Bob Fisher. “Our hope is that this environmentally-conscious building inspires Belmont College of Law students to become the greatest legal minds of their generation while being cognizant of their footprints on the world.”

“The Baskin Center’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said U.S. Green Building Council President Rick Fedrizzi. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Belmont University serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”

Designed and built by locally-owned companies Earl Swensson Associates and R.C. Mathews, the three-story brick and limestone Baskin Center opened in August. Among the sustainable practices implemented to help reduce the building’s environmental impact:

  • All of the site’s irrigation is provided from non-potable water.
  • Interior plumbing fixtures are expected to save over 165,000 gallons of water each year compared to code compliant fixtures.
  • Because of its geothermal system providing stable temperature pre-heating and cooling, the building is projected to save nearly $50,000 per year in energy costs compared to a code-compliant building.
  • Five percent of the underground 520-car parking garage is designated for low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles and carpool/vanpool vehicles.
  • Motion-activated LED lighting systems are used to conserve energy when rooms are in use.
  • Over 50 percent of the site is protected as open space, providing landscaped areas for Belmont’s students, staff, faculty and visitors to enjoy.
  • Over 75 percent of the waste produced during construction was recycled, diverting over 400 tons of waste from local landfills.
  • Low volatile organic compound paints, adhesives, sealants, and flooring products were used to reduce occupant exposure to chemicals.

Earl Swensson Associates Principal and Senior Designer David W. Minnigan said, “Belmont University has been fully involved in developing sustainable practices for some time through high-performance design and just good common sense. This LEED Gold Certification gives them some much deserved recognition for their efforts. We are thrilled to have been a part of the team with R.C. Mathews Contractor and SSRCx to achieve this milestone.”

SSRCx Sustainable Solutions Group Project Manager Tabitha H. Goodman said, “By leveraging best practices, thoughtful innovation and strong coordination, the Randall and Sadie Baskin Center was able to achieve LEED Gold certification without impacting the project schedule or budget. From an early stage, the project team targeted sustainability practices that matched Belmont University’s long-term vision, focusing on energy saving features like geothermal and LED lighting. Implementing strategies that made sense based on both first cost and payback allowed the Baskin Center to exceed expectations by achieving LEED Gold certification.”

For more information on the Baskin Center’s LEED certification, visit

About Belmont’s College of Law
The mission of Belmont University College of Law is to prepare qualified students with an excellent understanding of the law that will equip them to become professional counselors, advocates, and judges; researchers, teachers, and philosophers of the law; entrepreneurs; and thoughtful citizens. In addition to graduating practice-ready attorneys and community leaders, the College of Law offers legal education in a global context while also providing local attorneys to mentor each new student. Moreover, this program is designed to complement Belmont University’s areas of expertise and offer specialties consummate to the Nashville area, certificates in Entertainment and Music Business Law as well as Health Law.

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