Six Western Michigan University buildings attain LEED certification

January 30, 2013
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In an exceptional display of dedication toward implementing the use of green technologies in buildings, six Western Michigan University buildings have earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications. Michigan Live reports that the university now has seven LEED-certified structures on campus as of January 23, 2013.

Both Brown Hall and the Chemistry Building on campus met the LEED-certification standards for existing buildings. According to the news source, this classification is considered one of the more difficult to achieve because it is dependent on the strategic renovations of older structures. The Chemistry Building achieved silver certification for the numerous energy-efficient features it incorporates, including an underground service tunnel that preserves green space around the building.

“These certifications represent thousands of hours of work aimed at ensuring and documenting lower operating costs and reduced impact on the environment over the life of these buildings,” said WMU President John M. Dunn in a statement, according to the news source. “The U.S. Green Building Council’s designations acknowledge our commitment to energy efficiency and our determination to use the resources entrusted to us in the most effective ways possible.”

In addition, four of the buildings included in the Western View, Phase 1 student housing complex have earned LEED certification for new construction in Fall 2013. Already the university is planning an additional six other buildings to go through the LEED certification process. According to the news source, those buildings are the Sangren Hall, the Lee Honors College, the new Zhang Legacy Collections Center and the two new residential buildings and community center of Western View, Phase II.

“WMU continues to get national exposure because of our unique focus on LEED for existing buildings,” said Peter J. Strazdas, associate vice president for facilities management, in a statement.

Organizations across the United States are working toward the incorporation of green energy systems in new and existing buildings. For example, the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) based out of Philadelphia is attempting to help construction professionals include energy-efficient technologies and solutions in commercial structures. The group was established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the purpose of  promoting eco-friendly technologies, materials and building practices in new and already existing structures.