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Around the Columns

Certifiably green


The atrium of the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute allows natural light to brighten the building. MOI was awarded LEED certification in May. Photo by Nicholas Benner

It’s official — Mizzou has its first LEED-certified structure. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the basic level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification to the new Missouri Orthopaedic Institute in May.

The U.S. Green Building Council looks at two aspects when considering the certification: design and construction. The design of the 113,512-square-foot Missouri Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) employs a white roof that reflects sunlight and its radiant heat. Banks of exterior and interior windows allow natural light to brighten lobbies, patient rooms and conference rooms. Sustainable landscaping removes the need for watering grass, and bike racks provide parking space for carbon-free transportation. The building has high-efficiency water fixtures, and Campus Facilities monitors utilities usage through a building management system.

To qualify for LEED certification, the construction team had to document every step of the building process, says Kim Durlam, Campus Facilities construction project manager. LEED certification requires proof of wide-ranging, on-site construction protocols that detail everything from the use of recycled materials to how teams remove trash.

MU hired St. Louis-based Cannon Design and JE Dunn Construction for the project. Clarissa Easton, chief facilities officer at MU Health Care, says the university chose the firms for their track record constructing LEED-certified buildings.

Easton is particularly proud of the attention to detail concerning indoor environmental quality. “There’s an irony in architecture that you end up with a pristine stage, if you will, in a brand new building, and then finishes are brought in that soil it,” Easton says. Those finishes — paints, sealants, even carpet — are sometimes toxic to building occupants. LEED certification demands healthier building materials, and Easton says that fits with MOI’s mission as 
a health care facility.

MU is already constructing a second building that it will submit for LEED certification. The $203 million University Hospital Patient Care Tower is scheduled to open in 2013.