Grand Valley State University Facilities Planning Department was the Sustainable Construction and Innovation Award Recipient at the 2017 West Michigan Design and Construction Expo.
The Sustainable Construction and Innovation Award recognizes construction and innovation that has proven economic, environmental and/or social benefits, contributing to sustainable building practices. The innovation will be recognized as a robust project, product or service, to which the market is responding with enthusiasm.
This year’s inaugural award was presented to Grand Valley State University Facilities Planning Department for their on-going commitment to the high green building standard of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
What is LEED? Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an independent 3rd party verified rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design. The system is credit-based, allowing projects to earn points for environmentally friendly actions taken during construction and use of a building.
Why GVSU Facility Planning Department:
The LEED Platinum-certified building excels in sustainable design and management. During construction, a nearby storm sewer was redirected to a storm water management complex, not only protecting habitat during construction but also reducing the need for irrigation. The library anticipates increased green energy use and has built in capacity to adapt the building to support these changes. Invisible investments yield a 54 percent improvement over minimum requirements for annual energy use, including underfloor air distribution, radiant floors, wraparound heat pipes, and high-efficiency mechanicals. Refreshed air in study zones combats drowsiness, and surprising yet carefully constructed views provide natural inspiration. A green roof mitigates runoff and supports insulation and low energy use.
“The university embarked on a journey to improve its energy signature more than 10 years ago,” said James Moyer, associate vice president for Facilities Planning. “We concentrated on making the building more energy efficient from both a basic construction perspective and an operations perspective. We had to reduce the energy signature of the buildings, then operate the buildings as designed.”
Striving always for a minimum standard of LEED Silver certification, the Facilities Planning staff work diligently to meet or exceed their goals with the team of experts they have pulled together over the years. By pursuing LEED certification for all new construction and major renovations on campus, GVSU is doing more than actively reducing their impact on the environment. They are also improving their bottom line, contributing to the health and productivity of their students, faculty and staff, and showcasing the value they place on responsible, sustainable development.
In Use: 26 GVSU LEED projects that are certified in Allendale, Grand Rapids & Muskegon for a total of 1.7 million square feet, as well as 4 additional projects either under construction or in the certification process for just under another 300,000 square feet. Here is a link to GVSU information page on their LEED projects http://www.gvsu.edu/cms4/asset/83D77566-0FCE-1482-0E85CB93ACE30B91/leedsqft102617.pdf