NEW YORK, NY.- Rafael Viñoly Architects
design for the Van Andel Institutes Phase II building has been awarded LEED Platinum status by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). A major fixture of Grand Rapids Medical Mile, the Institute was designed by Viñoly in 1997 as a phased-growth facility, expandable and adaptable to meet the changing needs of its team of elite researchers. Phase II added 240,000 square feet of new laboratory space as well as innovative environmental and service features that bring the building to the forefront of the health sciences in the 21st century.
This achievement further underscores West Michigans role as a leader in sustainable development, as Grand Rapids has the third highest concentration of LEED certified buildings in the United States. VAI is only the second facility awarded LEED Platinum Certification for New Construction in Michigan, and sets Rafael Viñoly Architects and the VAI apart as national leaders of sustainable building practices in the field of biomedical research.
Developed by USGBC, the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
We are extremely proud of Van Andel Institutes achievement in attaining the highest standard of LEED certification. This is no easy task and demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and leadership within the Institutes own industry as well as that of green building. It will also continue to help Grand Rapids stay at the forefront of the green building movement, said Renae Hesselink, Chair, U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan.
Various contributing factors to gaining LEED Platinum status include sunlit labssignifying less need for electric lightingand 13,000 square feet of photovoltaic panels; waterless urinals and a vegetated green roof to reduce water consumption; a 33,000-gallon rainwater storage tank to collect runoff for irrigation and use in the cooling tower; and intelligent building design features including CO2 sensors throughout the building that detect the presence of people and automatically adjust room temperature. Lockers, showers and changing facilities on each floor also encourage the use of alternative forms of transportation. The building itself was constructed in large part from materials extracted or manufactured locally and the construction team diverted 79% of construction waste from landfill. The site itselfsituated on a former brownfield site in a dense urban area with little disruption to the surrounding natural habitatadds to VAIs green credentials.
Built into a hillside overlooking downtown Grand Rapids, the Van Andel Institutes dramatic stepped silhouette follows the sloping topography of its scenic site. Inside, terraced floors punctuated by double-height atria are glazed in segmented-arc skylights that allow natural light to flood into the laboratories below.