Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

U-M Law School building receives LEED Gold certification

The university has been awarded LEED Gold certification for the Law School South Hall academic building. The distinction recognizes the widespread sustainability initiatives that were designed, engineered and constructed into the building.


South Hall, the latest addition to the Law Quad, has received a LEED Gold certification. (Photo by Philip Dattilo)


Access a complete overview of South Hall's energy efficiency measures and sustainability features.

Learn more about the U-M Law School's building projects.

LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — is an internationally recognized mark of excellence operated through the U.S. Green Building Council. The program provides building owners and facility managers with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

"We are very pleased by the LEED Gold certification, and also very proud of how we went about achieving it," said Law School Dean Evan Caminker. "We wanted to make sure everything we were doing was sensible and appropriate for the building, as well as sustainable. We made an effort to seek LEED points by doing only things that would work well for the building and the people who use and maintain it."

South Hall's 100,000 square feet house classrooms, multi-purpose spaces, clinical spaces, and offices for Law School faculty and administrators. Some of the sustainability features of the project include:

• Maximum insulation in foundation walls, exterior walls and roof assemblies resulting in superior energy efficiency.

• Reduction of lighting levels through occupancy sensors and the use of day lighting controls for perimeter spaces.

• Low-flow plumbing fixtures and dual-flush toilets for water conservation.

This latest LEED certification comes only weeks after the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital were awarded an LEED Silver certification, and it makes the Law School addition the fourth building on the Ann Arbor campus to achieve a LEED certification. The Samuel T. Dana Building in the School of Natural Resources and Environment is Gold certified and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business Building is Silver certified.

Terry Alexander, executive director of the Office of Campus Sustainability, lauded the project not only as an example of the university's commitment to sustainable building design and construction, but to the teamwork required to execute a complex project in an environmentally sound manner.

"This LEED Gold certification for the Law School addition is another example of the commitment from the University of Michigan toward sustainability in all that we do," said Alexander.

"It also is an example of the great team of people we have at U-M. By combining the expertise from the Architecture, Engineering and Construction group, the Law School, our Occupational Safety and Environmental Health and Plant Operations professionals along with our external partners, we were able to go beyond what we thought possible to deliver a wonderful building that is environmentally friendly."

In keeping with the theme of teamwork, U-M students were actively engaged in the project from the outset. While the Law School always planned to make the building sustainable, some students urged the school to seek LEED certification for the project as well. One of those students, Sarah Bullard, who graduated in 2010, was pleased to hear the news of the LEED gold certification.

"All along, we wanted to make sure the new building was beautiful but also sustainable, and for the Law School to be mindful of its impact," Bullard said. "They've done that, and I'm very happy that we were able to not just meet our goal of getting LEED certification, but to exceed it."