YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A building on Youngstown State University's campus earns the gold standard for its green design.
On the outside, it looks like another building on campus, but inside the Williamson College of Business Administration, the design alone will make you look twice.
The 110,000 square foot building was constructed with recycled materials and opened in 2010.
The goal was to minimize its carbon footprint and save the university money on operating expenses over time.
"The role of a university should really be a leader and a leader in many aspects and having a green building and one that's sustainable, shows our commitment to efficient use of resources, cost reduction and leading the way for our students and certainly being stewarts of our environment," Betty Jo Licata said, the school's dean.
On Tuesday, YSU President Cynthia Anderson joined Licata to unveil the building's stamp of approval, a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED certifications, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, are the highest honor for design, construction and operation of green buildings.
The building boasts large windows verses the long narrow windows the previous building featured. The natural light will help save on utilities bills.
Water fixtures in the building allow for 48 percent less use, possibly saving the university up to 224,800 gallons of water a year.
Some of the other green features are hidden where visitors would least expect.
"Another thing you wouldn't notice, what used to be called ceiling plentums, that you would always hve space above the ceilings where the mechanical systems would sit, in this building, the space is below the floor," David Dimond said, with Perkins and Will Architecture.
Dimond says having the wiring under the flooring and ventilation system installed, allows for 30 percent more airflow throughout the building.
When it came time to decorate, YSU chose low emitting materials including paints and carpeting.