Wold Center granted LEED Gold status for sustainability

Publication Date

The Peter Irving Wold Center has earned LEED Gold status, one of the highest honors for sustainable design.


Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, rewards best practices for a building’s energy, water and natural resource performance.

This marks the first building on Union’s campus to receive the coveted status.

“Achieving LEED Gold was a guiding design criterion from the very beginning of the planning process,” said J. Douglass Klein, the Kenneth B. Sharpe Professor of Economics and chair of the Wold Steering Committee. “Among other programs, Wold houses labs and teaching spaces for the study of energy and the environment, and Wold is the campus home for U-Sustain. It was our intent that the building itself become an important teaching tool and laboratory.”

Klein credited Rich Wilk, professor of mechanical engineering, and Fred Puliafico, assistant director of Facilities, with leading the group that worked closely with the project’s architects, Einhorn, Yaffee, Prescott (EYP) of Albany, on the LEED features. Construction of the center was overseen by A.J. Martini, Inc. of Winchester, Mass.

The three-story, 35,000-square-foot research and education facility building was dedicated last May. It features state-of-the-art laboratories, electronic classrooms, an advanced computing lab, study spaces and faculty offices.

An interactive kiosk on the ground floor allows visitors to monitor many of the sustainable features of the building. There is also a rooftop Energy Research Lab.

The U.S. Green Building Council will present a plaque to College officials later this spring to honor the LEED Gold status.

The $22 million Wold Center was made possible in large part due to a lead gift from John S. Wold ’38 and his wife, Jane. The Wolds directed more than $14 million of their original $20 million You are Union Campaign commitment to be a catalyst for the project. Wold, of Casper, Wyoming, is a geologist and president of Wold Minerals Company. The building is named after John Wold’s father, Peter, who chaired Union’s Physics Department from 1920 to 1945.

The LEED Gold status is the latest honor for the project. The Wold Center received the Eagle Award for Excellence in Construction from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Massachusetts. The center was also given a Green Award for sustainability from ABC.