Construction, Education, and Sustainability

College wins silver for 'learning and living' building

March 3, 2017
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GVSU Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center
The Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center is located on the Allendale campus. Courtesy GVSU

A local college has earned LEED Silver certification for a building containing student housing and educational space.

Grand Valley State University said this month the Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center on its Allendale campus behind MAK Hall achieved the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The four-story, 134,648-square-foot building opened last August.

It houses 490 students in 239 bedroom units and includes four classrooms, a computer lab, three faculty offices, a game room, outdoor recreational space, study spaces, a catering kitchen and laundry facilities.

The building has an H-shaped design.

The $37-million building project was funded by revenue bonds, with the revenue source coming from student housing rental fees.

Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber was the project’s architect and interior designer.

The project’s contractor was Ada-based Erhardt Construction.

LEED requirements

LEED certification is based on several factors, including site sustainability, water efficiency, energy use, materials and resources, environmental quality and innovation in design.

James Moyer, associate VP for facilities planning at GVSU, said the university achieves LEED status for its buildings by incorporating several elements into its planning and execution.

“These items include access to public transportation, reuse of the site of a former housing unit, not providing additional parking, access to food service, overall quality of the construction, energy profile for the building, daylighting, regionally sourced building materials, etc.,” Moyer said.

LEED buildings at GVSU

The university aims to meet sustainability standards across campus, Moyer said.

“Since the state governor’s executive order, we have constructed 94 percent of our new space to LEED standards,” Moyer said. “LEED-certified buildings account for 35 percent of the total university space.”

Currently, GVSU has 1.7-million square feet of LEED-certified structures across 24 sites: 47 percent are at the LEED Gold level; 39 percent at Silver; 9 percent at Platinum; and 5 percent at the Certified level.


Grand Valley State University’s main campus is situated on 1,322 acres in Allendale. Its Robert C. Pew Campus is in downtown Grand Rapids.

The school, founded in 1960, offers 88 undergraduate degrees and 37 graduate degrees.

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