The Darla Moore School of Business building at the University of South Carolina in Columbia has received LEED Platinum certification.

The building, which opened in August 2014, is the first public building in South Carolina to earn LEED Platinum—the highest level of certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

In addition to enhancing the school’s teaching and research activities, the building and its sustainable design has helped recruit students and faculty. Student ambassadors give tours every week that showcase the facility’s many green features.

The architect is Rafael Viñoly Architects, and the builder is Gilbane Construction.

“We are honored that the Darla Moore School of Business received the highest green building commendation in the United States,” says Viñoly, lead designer and founder of the architectural firm. “It is a gratifying achievement to meet the university’s goals for academic excellence and a forward-looking vision for partnership with the community, all while setting a benchmark in terms of design and sustainable use of resources.

Among the green features in the facility: cantilevered and glass design that maximize natural light and minimize heat gain; an outdoor terrace and roof garden; and a balance of individual user control with overall building cooling efficiencies in office, classroom and conference spaces.

The green roofs capture storm water for reuse and irrigation, and the building was designed for the potential addition of photovoltaic panels to capture solar energy. Specially designed walls and raised floors will enable the school to adapt and reconfigure space to meet future use and needs.

The building’s hybrid HVAC systems incorporate under-floor air, active chilled beams and variable air volume systems, all designed to reduce the amount of power needed to move air for heating and cooling,”

The University of South Carolina also has four buildings that have received LEED Gold status. Five buildings have received Silver, and six buildings are pending LEED certification.