Duke Kunshan University first Chinese university to receive LEED certification

The campus was recognized for its sustainable practices

<p>The Board of Trustees approved the&nbsp;DKU undergraduate program proposal at its December meeting.&nbsp;</p>

The Board of Trustees approved the DKU undergraduate program proposal at its December meeting. 

Duke Kunshan University has become the first Chinese university campus to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.  

DKU received the LEED certification—which is given by the U.S. Green Building Council—in recognition of its  commitment to sustainable and green architecture. All five of DKU's campus buildings received the certification, with two them earning the LEED gold rating and three earning the silver rating.  

“Duke Kunshan University’s campus seamlessly blends native culture with advanced technology,” said Liu Jingnan, chancellor of DKU, in a press release. “Campus life is an integral part of the Duke Kunshan faculty and student experience, and this certification is an important symbol of Duke Kunshan’s commitment to world-class standards. ”

The release noted that the DKU campus is distinguished by its water-saving features—which make it so that almost every rain drop is absorbed, stored, purified and reused. All lawns on campus are irrigated with rainwater, which saves DKU about 2,600 gallons of water each day, according to the release. 

The campus facilities are designed around human needs to encourage a green living style, with air filtration and carbon dioxide monitoring systems equipped in classrooms and campus bus lines connecting DKU and the city of  Kunshan. 

Officials from the USGBC spoke highly of DKU’s efforts and achievements in sustainable development.

“Duke Kunshan University has embraced the concept of green building in its campus design and operations,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, chief operations officer of USGBC, in the release. “It’s a remarkable achievement that I believe will serve as a great example for more and more educational institutions in China and worldwide.”

The DKU campus LEED certification is an extension of the University's commitment to green design and construction. According to the Duke Sustainability website, the University currently has 41 LEED certified buildings, including the five recently certified DKU buildings. Four buildings registered with LEED for future certification, including the new West Union and the Student Health and Wellness Center, which is currently under construction. 

Duke's earliest LEED certifications include the Smith Warehouse, which was completed in 2001, and the Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences (CIEMAS), which was completed in 2002.

In 2003, at the request of students in the Duke University Greening Initiatives, the University solidified its commitment to green building and the LEED rating system, stating that all new construction and major renovations will achieve LEED certification.


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