At Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills jurisprudence is green

Thomas M. Cooley Law School’

s main purpose is teaching the law to students, but it’s the school’s efforts to build an energy-efficient, sustainable and eco-conscious campus in Auburn Hills that’s become the latest learning experience.

The school has achieved Silver LEED status, a certification that comes from the U.S. Green Building Council after a review of projects seeking the LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – designation.

The certification was awarded to Cooley’s renovation of of an existing 68,227-square-foot building previously owned Daimler Chrysler. The renovation began in 2007 and was ready for students in January 2008. The project also added a 64,518-square-foot structure to the building. The addition was completed in early 2009.

Cooley’s Auburn Hills campus, 2630 Featherstone Road, was designed and constructed in collaboration with Rockford Construction and SHW Group, both LEED-accredited firms charged with incorporating sustainable design practices into the project.

“Cooley Law School takes into account the best possible practices being used in construction, including sustainability, in all of its construction,” says William Schoettle, Cooley COO and vice president of operations, in a statement announcing the silver LEED award. “Ultimately, LEED building practices made sense financially. It saves money for the school over the long term and preserves natural resources in the process.

Cooley’s conservation focused features include:

-The use of no or low toxicity paints, sealants, carpets and wood materials
-A reflective roof that cuts reflects light, insulates the building and keeps it cooler in warm months
-A roof with soil and plants that will soak up water and keep it out of storm and sewer systems. It also reduces energy consumption year round
-Low flow toilets and plumbing fixtures will conserve water
-The use of water efficient landscaping
-Interior lighting will be controlled by room usage and also use lower wattage lights. The building design uses natural light to provide lighting.
-A heating and cooling system that uses outdoor fresh air for power and cooling
-Maintenance practices such as lowering window shades during the warm months were added to staff duties

Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills campus is the only law school facility in Michigan to achieve LEED certification. The school is only the fourth law school in the nation to be LEED-certified.

“Cooley Law School has answered my call for Oakland County businesses and residents to find ways to reduce their energy consumption,” L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County executive, says in the statement. “Last year, we opened the nation’s first LEED Gold certified airport terminal at Oakland County International Airport. The terminal’s utility costs have dropped from 70 cents-per-square- foot to 39 cents-per-square-foot, a real savings to taxpayers. I’m sure we’ll see some of those savings at Cooley.”

Source: Tyler Lecceadone, spokesman, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Writer: Kim North Shine