New York, NY
NEW YORK – Rafael Viñoly Architects’ design for the Van Andel Institute’s Phase II building has been awarded LEED Platinum status by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). A major fixture of Grand Rapid’s “Medical Mile,” the Institute was designed by Viñoly in 1997 as a phased-growth facility, expandable and adaptable to meet the changing needs of its team of elite researchers. Phase II added 240,000 square feet of new laboratory space as well as innovative environmental and service features that bring the building to the forefront of the health sciences in the 21st century.
This achievement further underscores West Michigan’s role as a leader in sustainable development, as Grand Rapids has the third highest concentration of LEED certified buildings in the United States. VAI is only the second facility awarded LEED Platinum Certification for New Construction in Michigan, and sets Rafael Viñoly Architects and the VAI apart as national leaders of sustainable building practices in the field of biomedical research.
Developed by USGBC, the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
“We are extremely proud of Van Andel Institute’s achievement in attaining the highest standard of LEED certification. This is no easy task and demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and leadership within the Institute’s own industry as well as that of green building. It will also continue to help Grand Rapids stay at the forefront of the green building movement,” said Renae Hesselink, Chair, U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan.
Various contributing factors to gaining LEED Platinum status include sunlit labs–signifying less need for electric lighting–and 13,000 square feet of photovoltaic panels; waterless urinals and a vegetated “green roof” to reduce water consumption; a 33,000-gallon rainwater storage tank to collect runoff for irrigation and use in the cooling tower; and intelligent building design features including CO2 sensors throughout the building that detect the presence of people and automatically adjust room temperature. Lockers, showers and changing facilities on each floor also encourage the use of alternative forms of transportation. The building itself was constructed in large part from materials extracted or manufactured locally and the construction team diverted 79% of construction waste from landfill. The site itself—situated on a former brownfield site in a dense urban area with little disruption to the surrounding natural habitat—adds to VAI’s green credentials.
Built into a hillside overlooking downtown Grand Rapids, the Van Andel Institute’s dramatic stepped silhouette follows the sloping topography of its scenic site. Inside, terraced floors punctuated by double-height atria are glazed in segmented-arc skylights that allow natural light to flood into the laboratories below.
Rafael Viñoly Architects would like to acknowledge the Phase II construction and design team for their invaluable contributions to this project: Owner -- The Van Andel Institute, Structural Engineer -- Thornton Tomassetti Engineers, MEP Engineer -- WSP Flack + Kurtz, Fire Protection System Engineering -- WSP Flack + Kurtz, Laboratory Consultant -- Research Facilities Design (RFD), Vivarium Planner – Jacobs Consultancy, Construction Manager (including Cost Estimating) -- Hunt Construction Group and Owen-Ames-Kimball, Acoustics and Vibration Consultant -- Papadimos Group, Inc., Building Code -- Hughes Associates, Life Safety Consulting -- Hughes Associates, Building Enclosure Consultant -- Heitmann & Associates, Inc., Foodservice Consultant -- Hopkins Foodservice Specialists, Lighting Consultant -- Brandston Partnership, Inc. (BPI), Parking Consultant -- Philip Habib & Associates, Vertical Transportation Consultant -- Lerch Bates Associates, Inc., Water Feature Consultant -- The Waterworx Company, Architectural Concrete Consultant -- Reginald D. Hough, FAIA, Specifications Consultant -- Robert Schwartz and Associates, Door Hardware -- Door Security Solutions, Waterproofing Consultant -- Gale Associates, Wind Tunnel Testing Facility -- CPP, Inc., Enclosure System Testing Facility -- Architectural Testing, Inc., LEED Administration and Commissioning -- Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc., Geotechnical Engineering -- Materials Testing Consultants, Inc., Interior Finishess, Landscape and Civil Engineering -- URS Corporation, Building Integration -- Building Intelligence Group, Security, Audio/Video and Telecommunications -- Commtech Design and Furniture, Fixtures and Non-Laboratory Equipment -- Custer Workplace Interiors.
The Van Andel Institute Education and Medical Research Facility is one more addition to Rafael Viñoly’s already impressive portfolio of institutional projects for the healthcare industry including Stanford University Medical Center, University of Chicago Medical Center, University of California San Francisco, University of Pennsylvania Health System, the National Institutes of Health and Princeton University.