Architecture & Design, Construction, and Higher Education

$60M university hall earns gold

August 7, 2014
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$60M university hall earns LEED Gold
Sangren Hall at WMU, a LEED Gold-certified building, is home to the College of Education and Human Development and the Department of Sociology. Courtesy WMU

A university is pointing out to visitors that a hall on campus is its latest LEED-certified building — delivering $345,000 in annual savings.

Western Michigan University said last month that its approximately $60-million Sangren Hall has earned the designation by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program is used to certify commercial and residential construction projects that meet high sustainability standards.

The 230,000-square-foot Sangren Hall is now one of nine LEED-certified buildings at WMU.

The project was designed by SHW Group of Berkley, while Miller-Davis Company in Kalamazoo constructed the building.

Sangren Hall was also awarded an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architecture’s Detroit Chapter at an annual awards ceremony last fall.

Sangren Hall

Opened in 2012, Sangren Hall is home to WMU's College of Education and Human Development and the Department of Sociology.

The building has more than four-dozen classrooms, a research center and clinical and office space for some of the programs.

Sustainable qualities

With a goal in mind of achieving a LEED certification, the building incorporates several renewable attributes: on-site storm water retention, 975 rooftop solar panels, sedum-planted canopy, energy-efficient lighting, mechanical heat-recovery system, occupancy sensors and an efficient chilled water plant.

Sangren Hall was built using bamboo wood veneer, millwork, cork, terrazzo flooring and salvaged granite throughout the building and exterior walkways.

John M. Dunn, president of WMU, said Sangren Hall is at the heart of the campus and is emblematic of the university’s commitment to keep sustainability at the core of everything the school does.

“We’ve been patiently waiting for this terrific news, knowing that Sangren not only meets, but also exceeds the high standards set by the USGBC for LEED Gold,” Dunn said.

Savings

Peter Strazdas, associate vice president for facilities management at WMU, said the hall is one of the most energy-efficient buildings on campus and in the state.

The hall has an estimated annual energy savings of $345,000, replacing an instructional building that was built in 1964.

LEED ratings

The U.S. Green Building Council awards four levels of certification, based on the number of rating points a building project earns: a building is considered LEED certified if it accumulates 40 to 49 points; LEED Silver certification requires 50 to 59 points; LEED Gold certification requires 60 to 79 points; and LEED Platinum requires more than 80 points. 

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