The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded the University of Richmond’s Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness its LEED Gold certification, the second highest rating for buildings that meet standards for “green” design, construction, operations and maintenance.

The certification is based on high ratings in such areas as:

• Sustainable use of the site

• Water and energy efficiency

• Sustainable use of building materials

• Indoor environmental quality

• Opportunities for using alternative means of transportation

• Restoration of habitat disturbed during construction

Andrew McBride, university architect, said that low-flow plumbing fixtures and no irrigation allow a 40 percent reduction in water usage, and energy efficient lights and mechanical system reduced energy use by 28 percent. Also, more than 20 percent of construction materials were extracted, processed and manufactured within 500 miles of the campus, he said.

Two other university buildings — Weinstein Hall and Heilman Dining Center — have received certification by USGBC. Six other buildings are under consideration.

USGBC is a nonprofit organization committed to a sustainable future through cost-efficient and environmentally conscious “green” buildings.