The addition to the LSA Building has earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification, in recognition of sustainability achievements.

The broader complex, which opened in January 2020, includes the LSA Opportunity Hub, the LSA Transfer Student Center, OptiMize, and the LSA Scholarships Office, and features space for students to study and collaborate.

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The LEED certification only includes the addition to the LSA building. The project achieved 60 points (of a possible 110 available), with the majority coming in the “Sustainable Sites” category, relating to the location and attributes of the project site.

One of the addition’s features is an underground infiltration pipe system installed to help facilitate stormwater storage and promote infiltration of runoff collected from the roof of the LSA building and the new addition. This system will help reduce the amount of stormwater sent to the city of Ann Arbor’s storm sewers, and ultimately the Huron River.

The system reduces the runoff volume and peak discharge flow rate for a 2-year, 24-hour storm event by 86 percent, compared with the site prior to the addition. A 2-year, 24-hour storm is one with a 50 percent chance of happening in any given year.

This shows a section of the infiltration system, with a pipe placed within a gravel-lined trench and connected to a new manhole structure, to promote stormwater infiltration at the new LSA Building addition. (Photo courtesy of Architecture, Engineering and Construction)

Other sustainability features include:

  • The infiltration pipe system allows for total suspended solids to settle out, helping to clean the stormwater runoff prior to discharge, thus helping to improve water quality.
  • Close proximity to public transportation, and within walking distance to many basic services, including restaurants, shops and places of worship.
  • Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) adhesive and sealant products, paints and coatings, and flooring systems for a healthier indoor environment.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. It recognizes sustainability efforts to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings on one of four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Since 2005, when U-M first received “green building” certifications, 17 projects have been LEED certified. All new U-M buildings and additions with an estimated construction budget greater than $10 million are required to achieve at least LEED Silver certification.

Ten percent of total materials content, by value, for the LSA Building addition was manufactured using recycled materials, while 12 percent of total materials content, by value, was manufactured and extracted within 500 miles of the project site. In addition, 52 percent of on-site generated construction waste was diverted from the landfill.

The addition to the LSA Building, recently certified as LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. (Photo by Scott C. Soderberg, Michigan Photography)
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