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McCord Hall achieves LEED Gold

external view of McCord Hall on ASU's Tempe campus
December 04, 2014

The Arizona State University W. P. Carey School of Business’ McCord Hall recently earned a gold certification for sustainability from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The curved, four-story building is the 26th ASU building to receive a gold certification. A gold ranking is the second-highest green building ranking under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, which recognizes buildings that are designed and constructed to high standards of energy efficiency and sustainability. McCord Hall is the 42nd ASU building to be LEED certified.

ASU Facilities Development and Management completed work on the $57 million, 129,000-square-foot McCord Hall in June 2013. Philanthropist Sharon Dupont McCord and her late husband, Bob, are the major donors behind the facility’s name. Local companies and families also provided support, with more than $17 million in gifts and bequests to support the building.

McCord Hall houses the W. P. Carey School of Business graduate and executive education programs, including its top 30 nationally-ranked MBA programs. The building’s features include state-of-the-art tiered and flat classrooms, a multipurpose event space, a graduate career center, conference facilities, team rooms, a collaborative student lounge space and a café.

“We believe we offer the most advanced learning environment available for graduate business students,” said Amy Hillman, dean of the school. “Every building detail was designed to teach students in a way that makes them better contributors to today’s work environment. McCord Hall emphasizes collaboration, discussion-based learning and flexibility.”

Sustainable design features

McCord Hall achieved its high LEED rating due to the incorporation of a broad range of sustainable design features. Eighty-nine percent of all construction waste from the McCord Hall site was diverted from area landfills.

The building also is warmed and cooled by an under-floor displacement ventilation system, which delivers more fresh air into the building, higher indoor air quality because of air outlet locations and less dust is stirred with lower air velocities, and reduced energy use because outdoor air economizers can be used longer in the season.

Additional interior sustainability features include:

• reduction in artificial lighting use through a control system in classrooms and corridors, which maximizes introduction of daylight

• FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified wood

• high-efficiency LED lighting

• lighting occupancy sensors

• hands-free operation of fixtures to reduce water use

• interior finishes that have low or no VOC (Volatile Organic Compound), urea or formaldehyde

Native plants adorn the exterior landscape and offer natural shading and require less water. A 297-panel rooftop solar photovoltaic installation provides a sustainable energy source with a peak 89-kW DC output.

Existing trees were mulched on site during construction, then shipped and processed on a nearby farm and later used as campus fertilizer. A eucalyptus tree was cut up, given to the ASU Herberger Institute School of Art and transformed into artistic plates.

“A LEED gold certification for McCord Hall is an honor," said Morgan R. Olsen, executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer at ASU. "However, it’s the details like repurposing construction-site trees that couldn’t be relocated for campus mulch and for use by our School of Art that truly demonstrate the depth of our sustainability commitment. 

“We are proud of our everyday, operational approach to sustainability, which results in beautiful, functional spaces for future Sun Devils to enjoy for years to come.”

DPR Construction was the construction manager for the McCord Hall project, and architects from Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (New York) and RSP Architects (Tempe) designed it.

Since opening, McCord Hall has garnered several awards for design and construction. It was recognized by AZRE magazine with the 2014 RED (Real Estate and Development) Award for Best Public Project. McCord Hall also has been recognized by the Arizona Concrete Institute for Innovation in Structural Design and as the Overall Top Project for 2014, and by the Arizona Masonry Guild, with a Craftsmanship Award and Honor Award in 2014. Most recently, the project was acknowledged at the regional ENR (Engineering News-Record) Southwest Awards as the Best Education Project in 2014.

U.S. News & World Report currently ranks the W. P. Carey School’s full-time MBA, evening MBA, online MBA and undergraduate business programs in the top 30 in the nation. To learn more about the school, visit: For more information about McCord Hall, visit: