Raymond W. Kelly ’63 Student Commons Receives LEED Gold Certification for the Second Time

The building attained gold certification in operations and maintenance.

The Raymond W. Kelly ’63 Student Commons at Manhattan College has recently received the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold operations and maintenance  (O+M) certification, which is awarded to already constructed buildings that are operated and managed in a sustainable manner. This is the second time the building has achieved LEED gold certification. In 2015, Kelly Commons was granted gold status in building design and construction (BD+C). LEED is recognized around the world as the premier mark of achievement in the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Obtaining gold level status is the next-to-last step towards achieving the ultimate level of platinum certification in the green buildings rating system. exterior_sept_2014_768.jpg

“The LEED system provides a framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving green buildings,” said Richard D. Ross, director of Graduate Recruitment Programs and visiting instructor of real estate in the O'Malley School of Business. “It is widely recognized as the industry standard for green buildings in the United States, and used in over 160 countries worldwide.”

Ross said that the Kelly Commons certification “shows our students, our stakeholders and the world that Manhattan College cares about our planet and reducing our contribution to global warming.”

During the spring 2023 semester, Ross and the students in his LEED Lab class used data and other information provided by the facilities department that helped the College achieve the new certification. Students in the lab toured Kelly Commons and took detailed notes about its characteristics and equipment. They identified areas where the building complied with LEED standards and in the areas where it fell short. They also made recommendations to make the building more sustainable and to comply with LEED requirements.

In the spring of 2024, the real estate program and LEED Lab will continue working on earning new certifications and will focus on achieving Leed gold O+M status for the Higgins Engineering and Science Center. Shortly after the Higgins Center opened in 2021, it received LEED gold in BD+C. 

Earning LEED ratings are part of the College’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2025. Ross explained that a key priority is for the College “to continue to improve existing facilities and infrastructure and strategically develop new facilities with an emphasis on sustainability and efficiency.”

“I would like to thank Richard Ross and his LEED Lab course participants for working with the Facilities Department and Aramark's Energy Management team in collecting data and providing the documentation necessary to achieve this accomplishment," said Craig Collins, vice president for facilities, physical plant. “Additionally, Dean Donald Gibson's support and contribution to the project is greatly appreciated. Arrangements are currently in the works to receive the LEED plaque for the building.”  

By Patrice Athanasidy