Lawrence University’s newly opened Richard and Margot Warch Campus Center is so “green” it’s gold.
So says the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which has awarded the 107,000-square-foot building LEED®-certified Gold status, the second highest designation on the green building four-level certification system.
“This is the news we were hoping for,” said Lawrence University President Jill Beck. “Lawrence is committed to the goal of sustainability and this building is evidence of that commitment. Responsible citizenship is one of the goals of a liberal education and in reducing our impact on the planet we are setting an example for our campus and our community.”
LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings and offers four levels of certification for new construction: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Each level corresponds to the number of points or credits accrued in five green and construction categories that positively impact the project itself and the broader community as verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.
After an extensive review, USGBC determined the Warch Campus Center earned 43 points or credits on its certification scale. A minimum of 39 points is required to reach Gold certification.
“On behalf of the entire design and construction team, we extend our congratulations to Lawrence University on this remarkable achievement,” said Nat Stein, LEED accredited professional and the Warch Campus Center’s project architect for Uihlein-Wilson Architects, Inc., of Milwaukee. “We especially commend the students of Lawrence University who inspired and challenged us to create a building that is environmentally responsible, respectful and beautiful. We are thrilled to be a part of such a meaningful project.”
The $35 million Warch Campus Center is Uihlein-Wilson’s first Gold-certified project. The building’s environmentally friendly features include:
• a partially vegetated roof system of soil and green plants to absorb rainfall and decrease storm water runoff.
• low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water consumption by more than 30 percent by standards mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
• heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems designed to be 21 percent more energy efficient than industry standards require.
• wood certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council that has been harvested with environmentally and socially responsible forest management practices.
• more than 20 percent of all materials used in the building were extracted regionally (within a 500-mile radius)
• adoption of a Green Cleaning program which involves the use of LEED-certified cleaning products and recyclable paper products
• formaldehyde-free interior building materials to ensure healthful indoor air quality.
In addition, more than 96 percent of construction waste for the building — seven million pounds worth — was recycled and saved from being deposited in a landfill.
KSS Architects of Princeton, N.J. was the design architect of the campus center and Uihlein-Wilson Architects, Inc., the architect of record. The Boldt Company of Appleton served as the project’s general contractor.
Work on the center began in June, 2007. The building was officially opened Sept. 18, 2009.