Gov. Brian Schweitzer and MSU President Waded Cruzado will commemorate the LEED Silver Certification received by MSU's Gaines Hall at a ceremony at 1:15 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26 in the Gaines lobby. The public is invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served.
The 80,000-square-foot Gaines Hall was renovated between 2008 and 2010, transforming the antiquated, 50-year-old building into a state-of-the-art teaching facility. Gaines is used by nearly every MSU undergraduate at some point during their academic career. It is home to University Studies, a 300-seat lecture hall, and laboratories for chemistry, biochemistry, geochemistry, biology, physics, earth sciences and modern languages.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is an internationally recognized green building certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. With the LEED Silver Certification, Gaines Hall also become the highest certified state- and university owned building in Montana.
"Sustainability is a very important issue for our students and so it's fitting that our first LEED certified building on campus is a hub of student learning," said Walt Banziger, director of MSU's planning, design and construction department.
The $32.5 million renovation was funded with appropriations from the 2005 and 2007 Montana Legislatures and was championed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer and local legislators.
"This award is a significant confirmation of the high-level commitment to sustainability we've been practicing and demonstrates the capabilities of the exceptionally dedicated team of professionals who managed, designed, and renovated this facility," said Russ Katherman, Gaines project manager with the Architecture and Engineering Division in the Montana Department of Administration.
LEED Silver Certification of Gaines Hall was based on a number of green design and construction features including:
- Using reflective material, planting nearby trees and reducing the amount of paving around the building in order reduce the building's "heat-island" effect;
- 52 percent reduction in water usage compared to an average building of comparable size;
- Near 70 percent energy costs savings in optimized performance through highly efficient building materials and high-performance mechanical and electrical systems compared to an average building of comparable size;
- Use of regional materials - the concrete block was supplied by Kanta Products from Three Forks -- along with 85 percent of wood being from certified sustainable forests; and
- Diverting more than 85 percent of all construction waste away from landfills to recyclers. This amounted to 1,967 tons or the rough equivalent of 16 Boeing 757-200 jets loaded with several hundred passengers each.
Gaines Hall, built between 1957 and 1961, was named after P.C. Gaines, who worked 43 years in the chemistry department, was a master teacher and served four times as acting president of MSU. The renovation project architect was Dowling-Sandholm Architects. The general contractor was BN Builders, Inc.