Daniel Bennett – Faculty Emeritus
Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Dan Bennett is Dean Emeritus of the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction (CADC). He has been instrumental in the development of sustainability strategies across campus, both in terms of developing an institution-wide commitment to sustainability and more specifically as they relate to buildings and their impact on the environment. His passion and enthusiasm have led the way in encouraging Auburn to embrace emerging trends in sustainable design.
Dan was one of the founders of the first university-wide taskforce to consider incorporating sustainability into everything the university does. The work of that group created the foundation for Auburn’s current sustainability accomplishments and agenda. Dan’s leadership in thought resulted in leadership in action, both academically and in operations, on the broadest scale.
Dan was Dean during the design and construction of the Gorrie Center, the first building on Auburn’s campus to be recognized by the United States Green Building Council as a Green Building through the LEED program, and the first LEED Gold certified building in Alabama. This was not an easy task. Budget concerns and a technical incompatibility between USGBC and Auburn University shut down progress on this building a number of times. But Dan was determined and the project was finished. The fact that the Gorrie Center is built, occupied and was awarded LEED Gold certification is evidence of Dan’s leadership and commitment to the idea of sustainability. He provided the trail down which all others followed. Now all new buildings on campus must meet a minimum level of sustainability embodied in Auburn’s Design Standards.
Dan’s engagement with others has been broad and impactful. His actions have provided an example to the uppermost levels of the Auburn administration, to other Deans and School Heads, and to the students who occupy Gorrie Center. The seeds of leadership Dan provided more than ten years ago have led to the creation of a comprehensive commitment to sustainability and a transformational culture shift in the way buildings are designed, constructed, and maintained on the Auburn campus.