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Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: November 9, 2010 3:26:04 PM PST
Installation of 'Green Roof' Begins at WWU's Miller Hall
Part of Major Renovation Project that Includes Many Sustainable Features

Contact: David Willett, WWU Facilities Management, (360) 650-6813 or David.Willett@wwu.edu or University Communications at (360) 650-3350

Green roof installation at Miller Hall
This image shows the substrata of the new'green roof' being installed over the new Student Collaboration Space on campus. Photo courtesy of Facilities Management

BELLINGHAM – Workers are installing a “green roof” as one of many innovative sustainable features for the major renovation of Miller Hall at Western Washington University.

The green roof, the first at Western’s campus, is being installed over a small roof covering the new Student Collaboration Space – where students can meet and study – being built in the existing courtyard of Miller Hall. The green roof consists of a mat system of sedum plants, a flowering plant that requires little maintenance.

The advantages of green roofs include: savings on heating and cooling costs; better sound insulation; reduction in stormwater runoff and extra protection resulting in a longer roof lifespan.

The $51.5 million Miller Hall project, funded by the Washington State Legislature, will renovate the entire 134,000 square-foot building, located on the university’s Red Square, and will provide general University classrooms, computer labs, instructional space, offices and support facilities for Woodring College of Education and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. All building systems (including electrical, mechanical, data, heating and air conditioning), elevators, roofing, windows and exterior elements for the aged building are being replaced.

Miller Hall, originally WWU's Campus School, was built in 1943 and enlarged in 1968. No major renovation work has been done since. The project is anticipated to conclude next summer.

The green roof is just part of the project’s strong green focus, incorporating a number of sustainable features. Windows will be operable, mechanical systems will use radiant cooling, and highly efficient lighting will be combined with increased daylighting. “Deconstruction” takes advantage of the salvage value of materials and to recycle site and building waste to prevent useable materials from going into landfills. Where possible, the project team is using recycled and recyclable products as well as products purchased locally, such as certified wood products from the Pacific Northwest.

The project is designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating of Silver or higher. LEED certification is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The first phase began in the summer of 2009 and was completed at the end of summer 2010. During Phase I, occupants from the 1960's wing were moved into the 1940's wing and other temporary spaces around campus while the 1960’s wing was completely renovated. They have now returned to the 1960’s wing while Phase II proceeds with the renovation of the 1940’s wing, which includes the portion of the building that housed the former Campus School.

The Miller Hall project is providing a sizeable boost to the local economy with at least 100 construction workers involved during the project. Additional employment has been created by the project among suppliers of equipment and materials.

Enviroscapes Northwest, Inc. is installing the green roof. Dawson Construction of Bellingham is the general contractor and project construction manager. The project team also includes Mahlum Architects, Coughlin Porter Lundeen, civil and structural engineers; CDI Engineers, mechanical; Sparling, electrical and Berger Partnership, landscape architects.

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