The Central Campus Classroom Building and Alexander G. Ruthven Building renovation recently earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in recognition of sustainable construction efforts and building features.
The combined project involved a renovation of the Ruthven Building, which houses the University of Michigan’s central administration offices and research space, as well as the construction of the CCCB, which features a 550-seat auditorium and other active-learning classrooms.
The project included 176,000 gross square feet in renovation space and 48,000 gross square feet in new building space.
The Ruthven renovation transformed the building into a modern, energy-efficient facility while preserving the historical character of the building’s exterior. The reuse of the building’s envelope and restoration of the rotunda reduced the need for materials, thereby reducing overall embodied carbon associated with the project.
Additional sustainable features of the complex include:
- Low-flow bathroom fixtures that reduce potable water use by more than 30% when compared with a similar building in compliance with the 2015 Michigan Plumbing Code.
- More than 31% energy cost savings when compared with a similar building in compliance with the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 energy code.
- A ventilation system in compliance with ASHRAE 55 and ASHRAE 62.1 requirements for optimal occupant comfort.
- Low greenhouse gas-emitting materials, including paints and coatings, flooring, wall panels and insulation.
- Native and adaptive plantings that do not require permanent irrigation.
- 82% of project construction waste diverted from the landfill.
- Close proximity to public transportation and basic services such as restaurants, shops and places of worship.
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. The Ruthven/CCCB project represents the 24th U-M building project to earn LEED designation.
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 and utilize new carbon-based building standards, enacted in 2022.
Sustainable construction and renovation efforts are complementing ongoing universitywide progress toward carbon neutrality.
In February, the university announced that it is seeking proposals to build on-campus solar installations totaling 25 megawatts across all three campuses. The total electricity generated would be equivalent to the power consumed by approximately 3,000 homes annually. U-M is collaborating in this effort with the city of Ann Arbor, which launched its own request for proposals for onsite solar.