P.K. Yonge Green Building Certification

This past December, members of Planning Design & Construction (PD&C), P.K. Yonge students, and staff met to celebrate the accomplishment of UF’s 92nd green building certification. The impressive 3-story P.K. Yonge Middle and High school building received LEED Gold certification, reflecting the project’s highly sustainable efforts. 

Pictured left to right: Mike Walsh, Jonathan Noordzy, Lynda Hayes, Keith Humphreys, Dustin Stephany, Frank Javaheri

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a globally recognized green building rating system and symbol of sustainability achievement. LEED provides a framework for efficient, cost-saving green buildings that also positively impact the health and wellbeing of the building’s occupants. LEED establishes four levels of certification (certified, silver, gold, and platinum) and at UF, the policy is to achieve LEED Gold.  

For the PK Yonge project, the PD&C team prioritized various green building principles early during the building design process and throughout the construction. To meet LEED Gold certification, the team incorporated elements such as native landscape design, energy efficient lighting and building controls, water efficient fixtures, beautiful/restorative views of the outdoors, air filtration and treatment systems selection of sustainable materials all while successfully diverting over 5,000 tons of construction and demolition waste.  

Through the project’s sustainability efforts, the building will likely reduce its operational and utility expenses while lowering its carbon footprint. The building’s green design has also facilitated a healthier and higher quality of life for the students and faculty who occupy the building daily. 

“PK Yonge students can now attend both primary and secondary school in LEED Gold certified buildings. This offers a unique educational experience that contributes to a culture of environmental stewardship among students, teachers, and staff,” says Dustin Stephany, Sustainable Building Coordinator. 

UF is committed toward a cleaner, greener, and healthier future. In 2003, UF received the first LEED Gold level certification in Florida, and to date the university has more green building certifications than any other public higher education institution. 2023 marks 20 years of green building certifications at UF and later this year the university expects to reach a major milestone of its centennial green building certification. 

For more information about green buildings at UF visit the PD&C site.