June 24, 2011
The McKeown Center at Saint John's University has been awarded LEED® Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.
The first LEED certified building on the SJU campus, the McKeown Center stands as an example of SJU's commitment to sustainability, said Derek Larson, associate professor of history and department chair of environmental studies at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.
The building also provides educational value, offering environmental studies students the opportunity to visit a sustainable building on campus, he said.
"In addition, participation by our faculty in the design process means we will be able to explain how the building's systems and materials were chosen, how the structure was placed on the site, and how technology and human factors were taken into consideration in the planning process," he said. "The documentation related to the LEED process will further provide a hands-on example of how LEED works, something we can use in the classroom while discussing the variety of 'green' building programs around the country."
The McKeown Center is the community center for Flynntown - the lower campus of SJU. It includes a kitchen, dining area, lounge area, study rooms, a computer lab, laundry facilities, outdoor patio and a recreational area.
It achieved LEED certification for design based on a number of sustainable strategies and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. They include:
The McKeown Center was designed by Lee Tollefson of the Rafferty Rafferty Tollefson Lindeke architectural firm of St. Paul, Minn., and opened in 2009.
The LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Nearly 40,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising nearly 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries. In addition, more than 11,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with more than 52,000 more homes registered.