CHICAGO, Feb. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Completed last year, the $45 million Johnson Center for Science and Community Life at North Park University was recently awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, which establishes criteria for the construction of sustainable buildings.
"We are very pleased to have been awarded LEED Gold," said David Parkyn, President of North Park University. "The building is not only esthetically beautiful, but also functions efficiently and plays an important environmental role. That's especially rewarding on our urban campus, and consistent with North Park's mission as a Christian institution and stewards of the environment."
Through its achievement of LEED Gold status, North Park University is able to provide the best environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors, while also minimizing waste, reducing toxins, lowering potential energy bills and operating costs, and achieving healthier indoor air quality.
"LEED Gold is an outstanding accomplishment and shows North Park University's commitment to the environment," said Susan Heinking, Vice President & Sustainability Leader at VOA Associates Inc., longtime architectural partners with the University.
As sustainable administrator, Heinking's role was to facilitate the sustainable design throughout the design and construction process. "Each element -- from the external shades on the facade allowing daylight in while blocking out heat gain, to the green roof that reduces building stormwater run-off -- was selected to meet sustainability requirements," said Heinking.
Throughout the design process various stakeholders, which included scientists, faculty, staff and administrators, and students, gave input to the architectural team for the design of a building that would create a space for all students, optimize outdoor space and daylight, as well as meet sustainability goals.
Some of the sustainable features of the Johnson Center include: reducing heat island effect with green roofs and high albedo hardscapes; promoting alternative transportation methods; promoting ongoing building recycling; incorporating recycled and regional materials; promoting healthy indoor environment via low emitting materials. Sustainable design and construction of the Johnson Center also means increased air filtration, increased air ventilation; and occupant comfort is increased via thermal comfort measures and lighting controls. Additionally, the building produces 30% water savings, 26% energy savings, and 75% waste diverted.
Founded in 1891 by the Evangelical Covenant Church, North Park University is located on Chicago's north side and enrolls 3,200 students from around the country and the world. At North Park, excellence implies not only a deep tradition in the liberal arts and the Christian faith, but also a spirit of innovation, reaching out to serve and to learn from the dynamic community around us. For more information, visit www.northpark.edu
SOURCE North Park University