Walsh College building receives LEED Gold certification

The Jeffery W. Barry Center on Walsh
College’s Troy campus gets most of its power from renewable resources,
captures and filters its water, and converts waste heat into
electricity. And now, it has a shiny new plaque to hang on the wall.

The

Barry Center, a 37,000-square-foot, two-level classroom building, was
certified LEED Gold by the U.S Green Building Council for
utilizing
green design and building practices. Ground was broken in 2006 and the
facility opened for classes in January of 2008.

Christine Stout,
director of facilities and auxiliary services for Walsh College, explains that the project came about as part
of a master facility planning process, which in part identified what the
college needed space-wise. While not a public institution and therefore
not required to be LEED
certified for its building project, “We thought it would be a worthwhile
goal,” she says.

Committee members had originally set its sights
on bronze (now certified), then silver, and upon realizing they were
close to the requirements for gold, decided to go for it. “We do think
it’s important to be good stewards of our common resources,” Stout says.
“We are a member of the community, just like everyone else.”

Plus,

Walsh being a business college, the committee realized that having a
LEED-certified building could have in impact on the business community:
When students go out into the business world, they can remember their
“comfortable, functional and efficient building.”

“They can say,
‘When I was at Walsh, they did a building project and it wasn’t hard.’
It’s good for us.”

Among the Barry Center’s green
accomplishments: 70 percent of its electricity comes from renewable
resources; every year 7 million gallons of water are captured and
filtered in bioswales and a constructed wetland before being recharged
into the water supply; and landscaping with native plants that do not
require irrigation saves 825,000 gallons of water and $5,000 in city
fees annually.

Other benefits include the conversion of waste
heat into electricity through energy recovery technology; a 20-percent energy savings via a doubling of the building’s insulation; and
energy-efficient plumbing that reduced
potable water use by 40-percent.

Stout says she was excited to show off the LEED certification
plaque, a circle of recycled glass that will be hung in Barry’s main
hallway.

Source:
Christine Stout, director of facilities and auxiliary services for Walsh
College

Writer: Kristin Lukowski