Auburn University’s Advanced Structural Engineering Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility built to withstand extreme structural testing loads previously only possible in the field. The sustainably designed building uses groundbreaking technological advancements that allow the department’s engineers to research solutions for the nation’s growing infrastructure issues. It’s 47,000-square foot design includes a high bay laboratory; a geotechnical test pit; a hurricane-level wind testing facility; a concrete materials research and testing laboratory; and spaces for faculty and graduate students.

WATERSHED served as the project’s Sustainability Consultant, helping the facility achieve LEED certification.

“Auburn University considers sustainability a core value and strives for excellence in sustainability through continuous assessment and improvement.”

Auburn University Sustainability Policy

LEED Certification

Project Type:  New Construction: Civic
Square Feet: 47,000
Location:  Auburn, AL
Role:  Sustainability Consultant


Alabama Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Merit Award
AIA Alabama, Honor Award
American Council of Engineering Companies of Alabama, Engineering Excellence State Award

LEED Metrics


• 22 bicycle spaces are provided close to building entrances.
• Showers on site, and an easy connection to a network of bike lanes make bicycle commuting a viable alternate mode of transportation.
• Preferential parking space are dedicated for an EV charging station, carpools, and van pools in order to encourage more sustainable modes of vehicular transportation.


• Stormwater basins integrated into the landscape and site design are able to treat and infiltrate 178,410 gallons of rainwater in one rain event through infiltration and evapotranspiration.
• Rainwater is collected off building roofs and stored a 3,400 gallon rainwater cistern for re-use.
• High performance LED luminaires in parking areas are dark sky friendly and energy efficient.


• A drought tolerant landscape design reduces water required for initial irrigation by 41%.
• After the initial irrigation period, the vegetation will not require regular irrigation.
• Water conserving plumbing fixtures reduce water use by 53%, saving 18,4100 gallons annually.
• Rainwater used to flush toilets conserves 26,454 gallons of potable water a year.
• Rainwater used in the HVAC cooling tower conserves 4,474 gallons of potable water annually.


• The building is designed to reduce energy costs by 20.7%.
• The energy efficient design is projected to save Auburn $10,577 each year.
• Refrigerants in HVAC&R systems minimize or eliminate the emission of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and climate change.


• During construction 194 tons of construction and demolition waste were recycled.
• Landfilled waste was reduced by 61%.
• 29 building materials in this project have Environmental Product Declarations.
• 22 of the building materials in this project meet building material transparency standards


• 81.6% of regularly occupied areas have access to quality views of flora, fauna or sky with no permanent interior obstructions. This is a total square footage of 38,302ft² with quality views.
• Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) management protocols were followed during construction and the building was tested to ensure superior IAQ prior to occupancy.