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Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building

Grand Rapids, MI

LEED Silver Certified

This 70,000-square-foot athletic space was designed and constructed in collaboration with Integrated Architecture and Rockford Construction. Began in November 2013, the facility was completed in October 2014.

Sustainable Sites
Careful consideration was taken to minimize impact to the building’s site. To decrease potable water use, irrigation was not installed and a drought-tolerant plant mixture was selected. All of the storm water runoff from the parking lot is treated to remove TSS (total suspended solids) before being discharged into the adjacent stream. This necessary step helps avoid the deposition of nonpoint source pollution into our waterways.

Energy Conservation
The building’s heating system consists of two Absolute Aire E-series direct-fired air turnover units utilizing natural gas as the heating fuel. The E-series units reduce the environmental impact, increase the operating economy, and optimize indoor air quality and space comfort. The direct-fired burners are 100% efficient, the axial fans are low horsepower, and the air turnover is continuous.

Temperature and CO2 sensing at the filtered return air inlet help to maintain space comfort and indoor air quality. Outdoor air ventilation is supplied through the air turnover units with supplemental sidewall exhaust fan / intake louvers combined during periods of high demand. Outdoor air dampers and staging of the fans are controlled through the BMS (building management system) utilizing CO2 sensors and a demand-control strategy.

The building is not air-conditioned. Sidewall exhaust fans in conjunction with sidewall intake louvers are controlled through the building management system.

The building control system takes advantage of the cooler night temperatures to flush out building contaminants and precondition the space utilizing an economizer control strategy.

Waste Minimization
Aligned with Aquinas College’s Zero Waste effort, waste stations consisting of recycling, composting, and trash are located in common areas of the building with appropriate signage.

Construction Waste Management
Also aligned with Aquinas College’s Zero Waste effort, the project team also developed and implemented a construction waste management plan that that identified materials to be diverted from landfill/incineration, and diverted 80% of the on-site generated construction waste from landfill. That was over 157.36 tons of waste diverted!

Construction materials were carefully selected with focus on recycled content and reuse. Over 35% of the materials used contain either post-consumer or post-industrial recycled content.

Local Economies
Over 10% of the building materials were harvested/extracted and manufactured from facilities within 500 miles of Aquinas College. By purchasing materials from regional manufacturers, the project helped support local economies and reduced the environmental impact and cost of transporting materials to the job site.

The project was awarded LEED-NC v2009 Silver certification in 2014.

View project on GBIG