Go green go gold

April 23, 2011
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Michigan State University added a bit of glittering gold to the green and white it is well known for, when the school announced last week that its Secchia Center had achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Secchia Center houses the MSU College of Human Medicine at 15 Michigan St. NE.

“The award is a mark of real distinction. I think it’s a natural outcome of trying to build the very best building we could. We’re very excited to have this recognition, and it’s a reflection of all the hard work that went into it,” said Marsha Rappley, dean of the medical school.

URS Corp. designed a host of energy-saving features into the building that are expected to cut utility costs by 34 percent annually compared to simply building it to code. Based on current costs, the reduction is expected to save $234,000 a year in utility bills.

“It’s consistent with the belief system of this community,” said Dick Temple of URS Corp.

The energy savings will offset the added building cost required to reach the gold level in less than seven years.

“It required a very rigid management process,” said Dan LaMore, a senior vice president with Christman Co., which managed the building’s construction. “It’s a very collaborative effort.”

The Secchia Center was named in honor of Peter and Joan Secchia, who gave the lead gift to the building’s construction.

“I think the greatest significance (of the LEED Gold certification) is even the highest standards can be accomplished with extraordinary teamwork,” said Elizabeth Lawrence, the College of Human Medicine’s assistant dean for capital and strategic planning. “Really, it’s a pretty great capstone achievement for an already great facility.”

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