East Hills Center (Of the Universe) receives first Double Gold LEED certification in the universe

Bazzani Associates recently received the nation’s first Double Gold LEED Certification for The East Hills Center (Of the Universe) building, corner of Lake Drive and Diamond. Gold certifications were awarded for both LEED-CS and LEED-CI.

“The really cool thing is it’s the first double gold certification in the universe,” said Rachel Lee, Bazzani real estate sales associate. “LEED-CS is awarded for the design and construction of the core and shell of the building. LEED-CI is for commercial interiors. That goes to the owner or tenant for making the inside space a “green” interior.”

The 7,200-square-foot building houses Marie Catrib’s restaurant, Cobblestone Home, and the 2,700-square-foot offices of West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC). The WMEAC office received the LEED-CI award.

“We worked very closely with the WMEAC team and local manufacturers Steelcase, Haworth, Herman Miller and Hekman Furniture, who all design furniture that’s environmentally sound,” said Lee Davis, interior designer and co-owner of Lake Affect Design Studio. “They have made great strides with natural fiber, reclaimed polyester, and environmentally responsible manufacturing techniques. This gave us a wide variety of fabrics and finishes to give the space the right look for a cutting edge, state-of-the-art building. The carpet is Interface, and they are leaders in the industry for green flooring products.”

“The building, based on our energy model, is using 35% less energy than a standard building,” said Nick Gillette, an architect at Bazzani Associates. “We super insulated it, and put the green roof on it to help reduce cooling costs, help extend the life of the roof membrane, and help manage the storm water runoff.”

The design of the building’s south facade harnesses passive solar energy to help heat the building in winter. In the summer, light shelves block direct light to help keep the building cool. It also is equipped with energy efficient lighting and HVAC equipment.

“One of the neatest things,” Gillette said, “is that it’s the city’s first building designed to be a zero storm water discharge site. The roof is designed to hold one inch of water. Any runoff goes directly into a drain pipe that runs under the parking lot to the rain garden. The rain garden filters the water and releases it back into the natural water table without using the city storm sewer.”

“We were just thrilled [to receive this certification],” said Kari Bliss, associate broker at Bazzani Associates. “We have such a mission to meet the triple bottom line, and this underscores that we’re achieving our mission. The only way we were able to achieve the certification was by working with the city, the state, and the neighborhood and business associations.”

Mayor George Heartwell will unveil the LEED award plaque during a special celebration at the East Hills Center on October 4. The party is from 5:00 to 8:00, with the unveiling at 6.

Source: Rachel Lee, Nate Gillette, Kari Bliss, Bazzani Associates; Lee Davis, Lake Affect Design Studio.