Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Goodall Environmental Studies Center achieves LEED Platinum certification

Goodall Center (no tower) 382x255

Wofford facility first academic building in S.C. to reach highest level

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center at Glendale, S.C., has received the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification, the highest achievable level of LEED – the first academic building and only the third non-residential facility in the state to achieve that level.

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is the leading national green certification program, which reviews building performance in five areas: energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials selection, sustainable site development and water savings.

LEED Platinum logo 150wideThe Goodall Environmental Studies Center is located in the restored and renovated former Glendale Mill office building overlooking the Lawson’s Fork of the Pacolet River in the historic textile mill town of Glendale. It serves as the hub of activities for Wofford’s environmental studies program.

Robert L. Keasler, senior vice president for finance and operations at Wofford, notes that numerous elements were considered by the Green Building Council in the rigorous certification process for “this very green building.”

“Among the factors is that the Goodall Center uses approximately 32 percent less energy annually than average buildings of the same size and type,” he says. “It also uses 45 percent less potable, or tap, water than comparable buildings.” The center also uses non-potable water – water from Lawson’s Fork Creek – for toilet flushing, and it uses stored rainwater instead of tap water for irrigation.

The building has a highly reflective “cool” roof that contributes minimally to the “heat island effect,” Keasler adds. “Also, 78 percent of the construction waste was recycled and not land filled. Many regional construction materials with high recycled content as well as low emitting construction materials were selected for use.”

John Lane,director of the center and professor of English at Wofford, adds, “The LEED Platinum designation serves as an indication of Wofford’s leading role in the national conversation around sustainability. It’s also a great teaching tool. The LEED process is complex, and, in the end, gratifying. In the Goodall Center, our students see the end results of that process in this efficient and beautiful building.”

The lead architect for the restoration and renovation project is Donnie Love of McMillan Pazdan Smith of Spartanburg. Chris Swale was the construction administrator for the firm.

In September, the Spartanburg County Historical Association honored Wofford and the architects with the Peggy T. Gignilliat Preservation Award for the Goodall Center project, recognizing it for attention to historical detail, for meeting Wofford’s teaching needs, and for meeting cutting-edge environmental standards. The center also was featured on this year’s South Carolina Historic Preservation Month poster, “Old is the New Green,” a publication of the S.C. Department of Archives and History.

From the vantage point of the center on the Lawson’s Fork Creek, students have on-the-ground, real-time interactions with the natural and cultural issues they read about in the classroom.

The central great room is a gathering place for students, faculty and community members to learn about such topics as environmental writing, sustainable living and the history, geography and culture of the Glendale community. A library and office space house program materials and serve as a base of operations for managing the use of the center.

The center has two laboratories – the Auto Bell Car Wash Laboratory and the B.G. Stephens Laboratory – for research ranging from toxicology studies in biology and chemistry courses to natural history surveys of flora and fauna.

The Trammell Terrace provides an outdoor space for classes, seminars and other activities. The Carolyn Fawcett Converse Garden contains a pollinator garden, a native grape vineyard, a bog, and herb, berry and heirloom vegetable beds. The garden is open to the public and available for classroom use.

More about Wofford's Environmental Studies Program. 

MEDIA: For a high-resolution (300 dpi) photograph and logo, click on the thumbnails below, then right-click and save to your computer.  Other photos of the building features and of students working in and around the center are available electronically on request.  Contact Laura Corbin at or 864-597-4180. 

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