GR “Y” is world’s first LEED-certified YMCA

At 159,000 square feet, the $30 million David D. Hunting YMCA is one of the largest urban YMCA’s anywhere. Now the facility is the world’s only LEED-certified YMCA.

The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification last week. The Hunting family, who donated $5 million to fundraising efforts in honor of their father David D. Hunting, urged pursuit of the certification.

The YMCA’s sustainable components include:

  • Nearly 89% of the structure is composed of materials normally diverted to landfills.
  • Glass curtain walls support passive solar energy strategies and bring that energy, in the form of sunshine and daylight, to 91% of the building.
  • The building uses nearly 41% less water than comparatively sized, non-energy efficient buildings.
  • The use of low- and no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and flooring contributes to healthy indoor air.

In addition, the facility is designed to conserve energy by using a variety of innovative methods, including:

  • Roof-mounted photovoltaic solar cells that generate up to 18,000 watts of electricity on a sunny day.
  • Low-E glass that reflects the sun’s heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer.
  • Heat exchangers that capture residual heat generated by a high-efficiency pool dehumidification system, and return it to the pool area.

Integrated Architecture designed the building, with structural engineering provided by JDH Engineering, and civil engineering and landscaping by Moore & Bruggink.

Source: David D. Hunting YMCA; Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association.

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