Mund College Center & LEED Certification

The existing Mund College Center building, built in 1957, serves as the main College dining facility and kitchen. In 1969, the building was enlarged and a theater space and new lobby area were added. In 2007, the College decided that a larger dining hall and different support functions were needed. Instead of constructing a new building, the College agreed to renovate the existing building to make it the first LEED certified building on campus.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a rating system for sustainable buildings established by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The rating system distinguishes between six different categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design Process. Additional points can also be achieved through regional credits, which highlight the importance of certain credits within a particular region. The reduction of water usage in our area would be one example of a regional credit. The system distinguishes between credits and prerequisites. Prerequisites, such as not smoking within the building or within 25 feet of any entrances or air intakes, using 20% less water, or storing and collecting recyclables, are required to be fulfilled in order to be certified.  These are different from credits, which the team can select the ones it wishes to fulfill. Only the credits contribute to the points and the level of certification. Projects can achieve a rating of certified, silver, gold, or platinum.

To achieve the desired LEED certification, discussing the credits between all team members early on during the design of the project is highly recommended. For the Mund Center, the LEED administrator conducted a LEED workshop with the entire design and construction team to discuss different sustainable approaches and identify the LEED credits that seemed achievable or desirable during the early stages of the design of the project. The team focused on these credits during the next phases and especially during the construction.

The renovation started in 2010 and finished in the spring of 2012. The building now has 78,200 sft, 18% of which is new construction.  Of the entire existing building, 52% was renovated.  The only area on the first floor that was not renovated was the theater, while a large area on the ground level was kept as existing.  Keeping existing structures and making them more efficient is one of the greenest strategies because it uses less resources.  These methods are true to the definition of sustainability, which stands for keeping resources available for the next generations.