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WWU Rec Center Receives LEED Certification
Recreation Center Recognized for Achievements in Sustainability
Contact(s):   Marie Sather (360) 650-3402 Marie.Sather@wwu.edu4/17/2007

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University’s Wade King Student Recreation Center has been awarded LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), recognizing its advanced achievements in sustainability.

The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the Wade King Student Recreational Center isa first for this type of facility at any university recreation center in the nation.

LEED is the USGBC’s leading-edge system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, energy efficient, high-performing buildings.

“The LEED recognition for our recreation center is unusual. It is another example of the University’s continuing commitment to and national leadership with issues of sustainability,” said Western President Karen W. Morse.

The Wade King Student Recreation Center was designed to achieve LEED Certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. LEED, which verifies environmental performance, occupant health and financial return, was established for market leaders to design and construct buildings that protect and save precious resources while also making good economic sense.

"It is such a great honor to be awarded the LEED certification. This has beenthe vision for our student body and administration since the early planning stages of the Wade King Student Recreation Center,” said Marie Sather, director of WWU Campus Recreation Services. “A special recognition needs to be extended to our Facilities Management team at Western fortheir persistence and determination."

The Wade King Student Recreation Center opened to students, faculty, staff and alumni in fall 2003. The recreation center is a state-of-the-art facility that offers many activities, including a rock climbing wall, three weight and cardio areas, three-court gym, multi-activity court, pool, an indoor track, wellness room, food service and a lounge area.

The Portland firm of Opsis and Seattle firm of BJSS/Duarte Bryant designed the 98,000-square foot building and it was built by Bellingham’s Dawson Construction Inc.

“The Wade King Student Recreation Center is to be congratulated for achieving LEED certification,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The certification of the Center sends a message that Western Washington University cares about the health of the building’s users and employees. Everyone’s comfort, safety and well-being benefit from the fresh air and natural day light.”

The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary third party rating system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. Projects are evaluated within six environmental categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of green building certification are awarded based on the total credits earned.

The Wade King Center was awarded a Certified-level certification. It also is the first university recreation center with a pool in the nation to receive LEED certification.

Western Washington University is a national leader in environmental education and sustainability. Recently, President Morse signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, which is an effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions.

A student-led effort facilitated by administrative efforts more than two years ago resulted in Western obtaining 100 percent of its electricity from renewable resources. Western is now ranked eighth on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of the nation’s top 10 green energy purchasers in higher education.

Western’s Huxley College of the Environment, among the first environmental colleges in the nation, is internationally recognized for the caliber of its faculty, programs and research. Students in programs such as the Vehicle Research Institute and Industrial Design are working to develop fuel efficient hybrid cars and useful products from recycled materials. Western also has a 35-year-old recycling program staffed by students.

The LEED standard has been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies as the industry standard of measurement for green building.

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