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Salt Lake City—The University of Utah’s James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Architects for the project were Lord, Aeck & Sargent (LAS), with Prescott Muir. Layton Construction was the construction manager. The building was designed to meet LEED Gold standards for energy efficiency from the U.S. Green Building. This project is the 40th certified project for LAS. The project received 44 credits, five more than the required 39, to receive the LEED Gold classification.
Many of the building practices helped insure LEED certification. Over 24 percent of the materials used in the concrete were recycled content while over 4,300 tons, or over 90 percent, of the construction debris was recycled. Over 20 percent of the construction materials were harvested and fabricated regionally. In addition, low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints were used throughout, and all wood was specified to be urea-formaldehyde free and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) stamped to certify sustainable harvesting. A strict indoor air quality plan was followed during construction and the building features rooftop gardens.
“This was a challenging project, truly a monumental effort to help a major research facility like this achieve LEED Gold standards,” said Jake Greenland, Layton Construction Company project manager. “It took the very best collaborative and creative efforts of USTAR, the University of Utah, and the design and construction team to qualify this project for LEED Certification.”
LEED certification requires that a building project is environmentally responsible, designed to be energy efficient and improve air and water quality while reducing waste. LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a series of ratings that recognize projects the guidelines for design, construction, operations and maintenance. More than 54,000 projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 10.1 billion square feet of construction space.
The $133 million construction project has also been recognized by ENR Mountain States with a 2012 Award of Merit, as well as 2012 Excellence in Concrete Award from the American Concrete Institute Intermountain Chapter. The building’s structural engineers, Reaveley Engineers + Associates, also received the 2013 Engineering Excellence Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies. The 208,000 square-foot building, dedicated in April 19, 2012.