Last week was a big week for Texas Tech and the Red raiders. Star football receiver Michael Crabtree was a first round draft choice of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and in the same week, the university announced a commitment to green construction for its newest 145,000 square foot building. The construction of the addition to the Rawls College of Business has applied for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification with the U.S. Green Building Council.The building will be the second LEED® certified building in Lubbock and marks a trend throughout the state for approved green building and maintenance practices. Project Manager Hugh Cronin of the Texas Tech University System Facilities Planning and Construction explained the announcement: “The LEED® program helps to document and record the fact that we have quality, energy efficient buildings here at Texas Tech. The Texas Tech University System fully supports the goals of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Program.”Texans can be proud of the state’s tradition of green building, which has now expanded into both commercial and residential development. Demolition crews lowering the old Thompson and Gaston halls near the north-campus gate have changed their course. Most of the debris is being re-used on the project rather than sent to local landfills.Cronin explained; “LEED® Certification doesn’t add much to the final cost of the project because sustainable practices advocated by LEED® are smart construction practices for any new building project.”The two halls were erected in 1957 and all asbestos and other hazardous materials have been safely removed from the site. Many of the new green building strategies were initiated when construction began in the fall of 2008. The demolition should be completed by the end of spring. By that time, 75% of the building materials from the two halls will have been recycled rather than deposited in landfills.Excavation for the new foundation and for new utility tunnels will begin in June. Construction is expected to commence at summer’s end with a project completion date in the fall of 2011. Congratulations Texas Tech for investing in LEED® certification, which will make the campus a better place to work, study, live and learn.