Miller Hall gains gold LEED certification

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Western Today staff

The renovation of historic Miller Hall at Western Washington University has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

LEED certification is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project is environmentally responsible.

Miller Hall was awarded gold certification. LEED certifications range from basic certification to the Silver, Gold, and Platinum rankings. 

The $51.5 million Miller Hall project, funded by the Washington State Legislature, renovated the 134,000 square-foot building, located on the university’s Red Square. The project included renovations to general university classrooms, computer labs, instructional space, offices and support facilities for Woodring College of Education, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and the Center for International Studies. All building systems (including electrical, mechanical, data, heating and air conditioning), elevators, roofing, windows and exterior elements for the aged building were replaced.

The building renovation had a strong green focus, incorporating a number of sustainable features. Windows are operable, mechanical systems in some areas use chilled beam cooling, and highly efficient lighting are combined with increased daylighting. “Deconstruction” took advantage of the salvage value of materials to recycle site and building waste to prevent useable materials from going into landfills. Where possible, the project team used recycled and recyclable products as well as products purchased locally, such as certified wood products from the Pacific Northwest.

A “green roof” was installed over the new Collaborative Space – where students can meet and study – built in the existing courtyard of Miller Hall. The green roof consists of a mat system of sedum plants, a flowering plant that requires little maintenance. The advantages of green roofs include: savings on heating and cooling costs; better sound insulation; reduction in storm water runoff and extra protection resulting in a longer roof lifespan.

The first phase of the building renovation began in the summer of 2009 and was completed at the end of summer 2010. Phase II included renovation of the 1940’s wing, which includes the portion of the building that housed the former Campus School. The major renovation project was completed in time for fall 2011.

Dawson Construction of Bellingham was the general contractor and project construction manager. The project team also includes Mahlum Architects, Coughlin Porter Lundeen, civil and structural engineers; CDI Engineers, mechanical; Sparling, electrical and Berger Partnership, landscape architects.