Old junior high gym floor helps to make 'gold'

March 29, 2006

Evergreen’s new green building achieves a first environmental honor

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The floors of a junior high school gym and an old building in Everett have helped to make gold.

The Evergreen State College’s Seminar II Building is the first publicly funded educational facility in Washington state to earn a ‘gold’ Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

The LEED system is the national standard in assessing and developing high-performance sustainable buildings. It was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council - and places part of its focus on the reuse of materials and resources.

That’s where the old floors come in.

All of the wood flooring in the college’s new state-of-the-art building came from Highland Junior High school near Yakima, and Floral Hall, a building owned by the City of Everett.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED system provides a framework for assessing building performance and meeting sustainability goals based on well-founded scientific standards. LEED emphasizes sustainable site-development, water savings, energy efficiency, material & resources selection and indoor environmental quality.

The 160,000 square foot classroom and office building on Evergreen’s Olympia campus is one of the most significant green projects in the region, and has received other honors, including being named as one of the top-ten green projects in the nation by the American Institute of Architects, as well as an award of merit from the Institute at a Seattle Awards banquet.

Nancy Johns, an assistant director of Evergreen’s Facilities Services says “it was a critical goal for us to have a building that supports our teaching model and to involve students, staff and faculty in all stages of the design phase to ensure that we were incorporating the community’s environmental goals and objectives.”

She credits the achievement to the 15-member college design team, in particular, Evergreen faculty member Rob Knapp for his work with the design of Seminar II and Robyn Herring, the college’s coordinator of environmental health and safety for reviewing the materials used on the project. Johns also credits the design team led by Mahlum Architects and the general contractor, DPR Construction.

The Evergreen building is one of only two publicly funded buildings in Washington to achieve the gold certification; the other is a Department of Corrections building in Monroe.

On the web:
American Institute of Architects
Leadership in Environmental Design