The University of Rochester's newest campus residence, O'Brien Hall, has earned LEED® Gold certification, established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) for its sustainable construction, landscaping, and operations. O'Brien Hall is the first LEED-recognized building on River Campus and joins the Medical Center's Saunders Research Building—also LEED Gold—in the University's official portfolio.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation's pre-eminent recognition program for high-performance green buildings, awarding certification at the levels of certified, silver, gold, and platinum based on ratings in water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resources, sustainable sites, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.

"O'Brien Hall provides our students with an outstanding residence in which to live and study, and now proudly bears LEED Gold recognition for its energy efficiency and sustainable design," said Ronald Paprocki, senior vice president for administration and finance and member of the University's Council on Sustainability. "I commend the project team for their commitment to achieving this high USGBC standard. This designation furthers the University's well-established commitment to sustainable operations and development."

"Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the USGBC. "The O'Brien Hall project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come."

Named for the University's eighth president Dennis O'Brien, the five-story, 150-student residence hall overlooking the Genesee River opened in the fall 2012 semester to sophomores, juniors and seniors. The courtyard, which unifies O'Brien Hall with Wilder and Anderson towers and the Sage Art Center, was also redesigned at the same time as O'Brien Hall's construction. The four-building complex was renamed Jackson Court for President Emeritus Thomas Jackson, the University's ninth president.

The first residence hall to be built on River Campus in 42 years, O'Brien Hall features a design dramatically different from other student-living spaces, with upper floors offering more study rooms and lounges, and first-floor common areas designed to accommodate meetings, events, music and dance rehearsals, and other activities.

Overall, O'Brien Hall uses 26 percent less energy usage than a baseline building. Among its sustainable features that led to LEED Gold recognition are: