UWs Bim Kendall House Awarded Prestigious LEED Building Certification

January 22, 2013
The Bim Kendall House is the second UW building to earn LEED Gold recognition. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming’s Bim Kendall House has been awarded LEED Gold recognition.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system (LEED) was established by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1999 and is the nation’s pre-eminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. Project certification is administered by the Green Building Certification Institute, a third-party independent incorporated entity that also oversees the LEED Professional Accreditation program.

The Kendall House, home of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, is the second building on the UW campus to receive such certification.

The Haub School will recognize the Kendall House LEED Gold certification with an open house and celebration at the building from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6. The UW and Laramie communities are invited to tour the building and learn more about sustainable construction and LEED certification.

“This is one example of how the university is demonstrating its commitment to sustainability and sustainable building design,” says Michael Ziemann, LEED engineer for University Facilities Planning.

In 2007, UW became a charter member of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and, in 2009, President Tom Buchanan approved the UW Climate Action Plan, committing the university to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, all new buildings on campus are to be built to a minimum of LEED silver standards, though completing the certification process is optional.

“The Kendall House certifying at the Gold level, second-from-top standard, provides third-party verification that we are doing what we committed to do,” says Ziemann.

The Bim Kendall House achieved LEED certification for efficient energy, water and material use. The building earned additional points for creating a healthy and comfortable workspace, and for incorporating educational and outreach components. Students helped plan sustainable features of the building and now the Haub School offers in-person and online tours to teach visitors how the building reduces resource consumption.

Additionally, because the building incorporated a renovation of an existing structure rather than relying entirely on new construction, it makes smart use of existing materials and has a smaller impact on the environment during construction.

“The Kendall House is a model for residential scale sustainable design, so the lessons from our structure translate to buildings off campus,” says Nicole Korfanta, associate director of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. “We achieved the Gold level certification, in part, through simple material and technology choices as opposed to constructing a highly engineered building.”

“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. The Bim Kendall House contributes to this green building movement.

The Bim Kendall House’s LEED certification was based on a number of green design and construction features. These features include:

-- On-site renewable energy in the form of rooftop photovoltaic panels.

-- Choices of rapidly renewable building and finishing materials.

-- Energy-conserving structural materials such as windows, insulation and structural insulated panel systems.

-- Low-emitting paints, carpets, adhesives and other products.

-- Energy conservation through efficient motors and lighting.

-- Use of natural daylight.

-- Student participation in building design.

-- Green cleaning program.

-- Occupant comfort through individual heating and ventilation controls.

-- Public transportation access.

-- Light pollution reduction.

-- Recycling collection.

-- Maximizing site open space.

Several consultants contributed to the project. The project was designed by Architecture Plus, and Drahota Construction led the renovation and addition work. Structural design was done by Mike McDonald of JVA. Mark Kosmos, at the time with EDAW and now with Robert Peccia and Associates Inc., designed the native, low-water landscaping. Jeff Elsner, at the time with SSR and now with RMH Group, was the engineer for mechanical, electrical and plumbing. Civil engineering was provided by Dan Swift of SSA. Ralph Schmitt, with Engineering Economics Inc., was the commissioning agent.

Major funding for the building came from Bim and Donald Kendall for the building purchase, renovation and addition, with a match from the state of Wyoming capital construction fund. The Kresge Foundation provided funding for green design and Rocky Mountain Power provided matching funds for the photovoltaic system. Many private gifts were made in honor of Harold Bergman, for whom the xeriscaped gardens are named.

Learn more about the Kendall House at www.uwyo.edu/enr/bim-kendall-house.

For more information, contact Emilene Ostlind, communications coordinator, Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, (307) 766-2604, emilene@uwyo.edu.

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