Sustainable Community Development Initiative

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Mary Idema Pew Library Shoots For Platinum

Mary Idema Pew Library will be First Platinum LEED Building on GVSU Campus
By: Jessica Beswick SCDI Web-Editor
    The Grand Valley State University Allendale Campus is going for Platinum, in the building of the new Mary Idema Pew Library located in the heart of campus. GVSU is working with Pioneer Construction to build the first Platinum LEED Certified building on campus.
    “This project is held to the Platinum level which is the highest level of LEED Certification,” said Scott Veine Director of Sustainability for Pioneer Construction. Pioneer has been in business for 76 years and became LEED Certified builders in 2004. About 85 percent of their annual projects are LEED Certified.
    “All of the current buildings over the past six or seven years on this campus have all been LEED certified at different levels. There are four different levels, there’s basic certification, there is silver, there’s gold and then there is platinum,” said Veine.
    The process of receiving a LEED Certification begins in the planning stage with a checklist of all the sustainable measures that can be implemented on the project. These scorecards include renewable resources, renewable energy, and materials, recycling plans and overall better building energy use.
    “We go through a series of checklists and it’s a team approach,” said Veine. “The Grand Valley facilities and plan staff work directly with the engineers and we work with the engineers and architects collaboratively. We keep the scorecards as our goals.”
    There are some standard practices that Pioneer Construction uses in order to maintain that LEED certification. One major practice is recycling all of the debris from the job site.
    “Right now about 90 percent of our debris is diverted away from landfills. On top of that we have dust control, we maintain and monitor our storm water quality which is why we have the chain fence around the perimeter of the work site,” said Veine.
    In addition to those procedures, another component which is taken into consideration is where the materials being used are coming from. Many of the materials being used for the library came from within 500 miles of the job site.
    “Because we are on a global economy our materials come from all over the world so to track that becomes a little bit cumbersome but we need to do it,” said Veine. “Our goal here is about 30 to 40 percent of locally fabricated material.”
    The final component to receiving the LEED Certification is the audit and closeout. The audit brings all the pieces of Pioneer and components of the project and checking them against the scorecard goals. This is done in a series of steps starting with the commission of the building from a third party not related to Pioneer or GVSU.
    The final step is sending over project information to the Green Building Certification Institute and that is when the project receives the LEED plaque.
    “They go through all the documentation, from the birth of the job to the design and the program of the project all the way to the completion and commissioning,” said Veine. “They look at the overall storybook and they audit all those points off the checklist and you get your certification.”
    The Mary Idema Pew Library LEED Certified building is expected to open for faculty move in and book transfer on May 3, 2013. August of 2013 the library will be open for students, faculty and staff.


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