Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills campus has achieved the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The certification is used to designate the world’s greenest, energy-efficient and high-performing buildings.
“Cooley Law School has answered my call for Oakland County businesses and residents to find ways to reduce their energy consumption,” said L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County executive.
“Last year, we opened the nation’s first LEED Gold certified airport terminal at Oakland County International Airport,” Patterson said.
“The terminal’s utility costs have dropped from 70 cents-per-square-foot to 39 cents-per-square-foot, a real savings to taxpayers. I’m sure we’ll see some of those savings at Cooley.”
Cooley’s Auburn Hills campus, located at 2630 Featherstone Road, was designed and constructed in collaboration with Rockford Construction and SHW Group Architects-Engineers, both LEED-accredited professionals who designed the project to ensure sustainable design practices were incorporated into the project, said Cooley spokesman Tyler Lecceadone.
A portion of the law school is in a renovated 68,227-square-foot building, previously owned by Daimler Chrysler. Renovations began in 2007 and opened to students in January 2008.
An additional 64,518-square-foot structure was added to the existing building and completed in early 2009.
William Schoettle, Cooley COO and vice president of operations, said: “Ultimately, LEED building practices made sense financially. It saves money for the school over the long term and preserves natural resources in the process.”
The original structure features a reflective roof that is white and minimizes heat gain in the warmer months.
The new addition uses a “green roof,” complete with soil and plants to minimize storm water runoff and reduce energy consumption during the warm and cold seasons; it also extends the life of the roof’s underlayment, saving maintenance dollars.
To conserve fresh water, low-flow toilet and plumbing fixtures, as well as water-efficient landscaping, were installed. Interior lighting is controlled by room usage and lower-wattage lighting, enhanced by natural light, is being used.
The heating and cooling system maximizes the use of outdoor fresh air and, at the same time, automatically lowers energy consumption when the building is not in use.
The school’s janitorial staff has been trained to close window shades to reduce heat gain and loss when they are cleaning offices.
By: Diana Dillaber Murray, Oakland Press