RU’s Wabash Building Earns Gold LEED Certification

Designed originally as a Silver LEED facility, Roosevelt University’s Wabash Building — the new heart of the university’s downtown Chicago campus — has just earned Gold LEED status from the US Green Building Council. As described here by Paul Matthews, RU’s Assistant VP of Campus Operations and Planning,

RU’s distinctively blue Wabash Building as seen from the south, with the historic National Landmark Auditorium Building in the foreground

LEED is an internationally recognized green building program.
 It provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

The Gold certification, announced this week by the USGBC, recognizes the University’s strong commitment to the environment and its leadership in sustainability from start to finish in construction of the new Wabash Building.

Our building project was awarded Gold — the second highest certification level possible — based on its many energy-efficient and green-design features. Some of these include: efficient heating and cooling systems; efficient water usage with low-flow pumping systems; rooftop gardens; use of natural lighting and lighting-control system; significant reduction in electrical load through the use of renewable energy credits; reuse of 95 percent of all construction waste that would have wound up in landfills; renewable and recycled flooring throughout the building; use of Forest Stewardship Council-certified sustainable wood products; improved indoor air quality through use of low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints; a tri-sorter recycling chute system; an exterior glass pattern deterring bird collisions; green building signage; pulper and composting systems; indoor bicycle storage area; and innovative use of a small and unique urban land site.

The Wabash Building becomes the 11th publicly-identified Gold LEED-certified higher-education project in Illinois and the 284th to receive Gold certification in North America. With this certification, the new vertical campus is also the tallest Gold higher-education structure in the world. In honor of the distinction, we will be receiving a plaque from the USGBC, which will be unveiled at a special Wabash Building ceremony, details of which will be announced soon.

I would like to thank everyone involved in the certification process, and especially the members of our dedicated Green LEED Team including: Alicia Rucinski, Assistant Project Manager, Buck Development; Jonathan Grant, Senior Engineer WMA; Todd Rossier, Project Engineer of Power Construction Co.; Jennifer Rzab and Joe Dietz, Senior Associate, VOA Associates; and Thomas Shelton and Kenton Franklin, Roosevelt University Environmental Sustainability Interns. Without the team’s commitment to meeting and in many cases exceeding the LEED construction standards, this distinction would not have been possible.

Congratulations are due to Paul and his staff, as well as to all other parties who have invested time, energy, and expertise into this significant design and construction achievement for Roosevelt University.

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