In a tiny structure built to house a campus cafeteria on Oak Street in 1947 and later the Department of Geology, new student and faculty inhabitants are enjoying tall, wide windows that wash their art studios with light. Bretske Hall’s Cinderella story is not only transformational, it’s making history.
The building was 99 percent renovated. Low-emitting materials were used including paints and coatings, flooring systems, adhesives, sealants, and composite woods. Thanks to the efforts of UTC personnel and Hefferlin and Kronenberg Architects, the University was awarded Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, making Bretske the first campus building to earn this third-party verification of national sustainability standards.
UTC received energy credits for buying alternative energy from TVA. UTC participates in the new TVA Green Power Switch program “Southeastern Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).”
“Constructing a new building on a university campus can be quite a challenge for everyone on the construction team, adding the layer of LEED and reaching certification is quite a feat. Universities have an opportunity daily to educate not just students but the entire community. By choosing to pursue LEED certification for Bretske Hall, UTC is in an incredible position to further their opportunity to teach the public and future generations on the long term importance of building smart today,” said Anj McClain, Director, green|spaces in Chattanooga.
Attaining LEED certification for Bretske Hall demonstrates UTC’s commitment to sustainability, according to Lisa R. Darger, Sustainability Coordinator.
“This certification could also allow the University to be a more competitive applicant for future sustainability grant funding,” said Darger.
There’s a lot of excitement among those who are using the new space, according to Ron Buffington, UC Foundation Professor and Head of the Department of Art.
“As a department, we take great pride in the work we do; we are active researchers, dedicated servants of our community, and above all committed, passionate teachers. I genuinely believe that the level of discourse, the quality of student outcomes, and the intimacy of engagement that prevails in the Art Department is second to none. Bretske Hall now provides us with a facility that meets the high caliber of our teaching on equal footing. The remodel of Bretske is inspired, resulting in light-filled, open spaces and a well-appointed facility. Given the care that went into this project, it is hardly surprising that Bretske has achieved LEED certification, and aligns with our departmental ethos to make a positive impact on the world around us,” said Buffington.