has registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and will seek
“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED ) certification
for all future capital projects, beginning with the Magers Hall
to its Web site, the U.S. Green Building Council is a “coalition
working to promote buildings that maximize economic and environmental
performance.” Its 4,000 members include local, state and federal
governments; product manufacturers; contractors; builders; utilities;
and educational institutions.
LEED Green Building Rating System developed by the council’s membership
is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing
high performance, sustainable buildings. Kathy Richards
(Engineering & Planning) said the Michigan Department
of Management and Budget now requires that all state-supported major
capital outlay projects be designed and constructed in accordance
with the LEED system. They must score enough points to meet minimum
‘LEED Certified’ status.
a result of this state requirement, NMU has decided to have all
of its capital projects comply with this green building initiative
– even those that are strictly university funded,” Richards said.
“The potential benefits we see are energy savings, resource conservation,
waste reduction, environmental sensitivity, marketing promotion
and keeping consistent with our ‘Northern Naturally’ motto.”
cited by the U.S. Green Building Council states that buildings account
for 36 percent of total energy use and 65 percent of electricity
consumption in the United States
. They are also responsible for
nearly one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions, raw materials
use and waste output.
USGBC states that breakthroughs in science, technology and operations
have made it easier to “build green” and reap several environmental
and economic benefits. These include improved air and water quality;
enhanced and protected ecosystems and biodiversity; reduced operating
costs; optimized life-cycle economic performance; enhanced comfort
and health; and improved employee productivity and satisfaction.
Hall will be the first NMU project to go through the LEED certification
process. The facility will be converted back to a residence hall.
After completing the final design review stage, Richards said the
goal is to issue the plans for bids in October. Construction is
scheduled to begin in January.