Westminster's Meldrum Science Center Earns LEED Platinum Certification
First-ever “platinum” rating for a Utah higher education campus building
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Contact: Krista DeAngelis (801) 832-2682
SALT LAKE CITY - Westminster College is pleased to announce that its new state-of-the-art Meldrum Science Center has earned the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification rating of “platinum” --a first for any higher education campus building in the state of Utah.
The center’s efficient, environmentally sensitive design makes it a showcase for environmental stewardship and demonstrates Westminster’s commitment to environmental responsibility.
Designed by VCBO Architecture, the $30-million facility was built by Big-D Construction and boasts more than 53 environmentally-friendly features. To earn a “platinum” certification, a facility must have at least 52 points. From solar panels on the roof to unique water conservation features, the building houses a plethora of “green” characteristics. Some of the top environmentally-friendly features include: daylight sensors that automatically control the use of artificial lighting, building materials that are locally sourced and environmentally sound, flooring and exhibit boxes made of reclaimed wood, construction waste that was recycled up to 85 percent, and state-of-the-art zone ventilation and filtration systems.
The four-story, 60,000 square-foot, Meldrum Science Center houses 14 high-performance integrated lab/classrooms and five dedicated research labs, as well as optimum space for students and faculty from different disciplines to discuss new concepts and conduct research collaboratively. The building is designed to facilitate active, experiential, interdisciplinary and collaborative learning through the use of open, flexible classroom spaces and research labs.
“We are extremely pleased that our new Meldrum Science Center has achieved LEED-platinum certification,” said Michael Bassis, Westminster president. “Westminster was the first higher education institution in the state to sign the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment in 2007, which demonstrates that we take our commitment to environmental responsibility very seriously.”
Dr. Mary Jane Chase, dean of Westminster’s School of Arts and Sciences, echoed the sentiment stating, “Getting platinum is not about money, it's about commitment. It took dedication from the faculty, the college administration and board, the donors, the architects and the contractors…it took a community effort of which we are very, very proud.”
The Meldrum Science Center’s environmental features are due in part to Rio Tinto, who was the major donor to the LEED aspects of the building. The college also received a grant from Rocky Mountain Power's Blue Sky Project, as well as federal funds secured by U.S. Senator Robert Bennett, to install the 20-kilowatt solar panel system on the roof.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information visit www.westminstercollege.edu or follow @WestminsterSLC on Twitter.