Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 11:30 am


GRINNELL, IA—Grinnell College has added two more Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings to its green campus commitments.

The Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, the campus center opened in 2006, and the Robert N. Noyce ’49 Science Center’s second phase construction completed in 2008, are the two latest additions to Grinnell’s LEED building certifications. The science center received the LEED silver designation, and the student center received the base certification.

In 2006, the college’s environmental education center at the Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA) became the first building in Iowa to receive the LEED gold designation, and a group of newly constructed residence halls received base certification. Designed by Chicago architects Holabird & Root, the CERA building was later awarded the Design Excellence Award for Sustainability by the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The CERA site also includes a wind turbine which supplies a majority of the education center’s electricity.

The Noyce Science Center, also designed by Holabird & Root, received the silver certification for features in the second phase of a two-part construction project, which involved both addition and renovation. “Science buildings have very complex ventilation and technical systems,” said Jim Swartz, director of the building project and the college’s Center for Science in the Liberal Arts, “so to receive a silver certification is especially rewarding because it recognizes the efforts to gain greater efficiencies and still remain true to our core purpose of creating a flexible and welcoming space for teaching and research.”

The science center’s certification was based on features including heat recovery on laboratory exhaust systems, motion sensors on fume hoods and lighting, rainwater collection for use in the greenhouse, energy-efficient windows, dual-flush toilets and low-flow lavatory fixtures, use of local and regional materials, and recycling construction waste.

The Rosenfield Center, a hub for student activities and dining designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, was cited for the following energy-efficient features: Energy Star reflective roof, heat recovery system for coolers and freezers in dining operations, motion sensors and direct-digital control for indoor lighting, triple-glazed windows, variable air volume exhaust hoods, and variable speed fans and pumps.

In addition to the LEED certifications for buildings, Grinnell’s ongoing energy-efficiency measures throughout campus include reflective roofing, digital controls for lighting and temperature, motion sensors for lighting and vending machines, energy-efficient windows, and lighting retrofits. The college also incorporated geothermal wells and heat pumps for heating and cooling the CERA education center and the natatorium currently under construction.

Other green campus initiatives include food waste composting, building material recycling, coordination of residence hall recycling and awareness programming, local foods purchasing, and a campus project house that serves as a demonstration point for sustainable efforts.

LEED certification is a four-level rating system by the U.S. Green Building Council for design and construction of energy-efficient, high-performance buildings in six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design.