Van Andel Institute Gets LEED Nod

In West Michigan, Grand Rapids’ “Medical Mile” has a new, high-profile addition: Phase II of the Van Andel Institute, which has received LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

This eight-story, $178 million facility, which opened in December of 2009, is one of just a handful of such research facilities worldwide bearing this level of certification. It also seems to be in keeping with Grand Rapids’ focus on both green building and medical research.

Phase II Van Andel Institute

image via Van Andel Institute

Currently, this city is a leader in its percentage of completed LEED projects, and is one of just two cities in the top thirty LEED cities in the country with a population under 200,000.  Phase II of the Van Andel Institute is expected to support a $125 million annual research operation that will expand the number of laboratories at the Institute from 22 to more than 50, providing the capacity for 550 additional jobs in West Michigan’s burgeoning life sciences sector.

Green features of the building–designed by New York-based Rafael Vinoly Architects PC–include solar photovoltaic panels, a heat recovery system,and low-flow water fixtures. During construction, 79% of all wastes were diverted from the landfill, and locally-manufactured materials were used.

World Interior Design Network reports that the building also incorporates natural daylighting in labs, a green roof, a 33,000 gallon rainwater storage tank, and CO2 sensors that detect the presence of people and adjust room temperatures accordingly.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.