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Kellogg breaks ground on NU's greenest building

December 2013 | by sustainNU
Kellogg Green BuildingThe new building for the Kellogg School of Management and the Department of Economics is one of the most ambitious and exciting facilities on Northwestern’s campuses. The five-story building, designed by KPMB Architects of Toronto, will embody not only Kellogg’s commitment to leadership in curriculum and collaboration but also to sustainability.

The University worked closely with KPMB and German energy consultant Transolar to design a building envelope that will reduce energy consumption by more than 45 percent versus a typical building. Features include energy efficiency options such as LED lighting, lighting automation, light-harvesting using automated shades, triple glazed windows, and radiant cooling using chilled beams. The building's most exciting feature is the use of a geothermal system consisting of 70 wells drilled almost 600 feet into the bedrock that will provide as much at 60 percent of the heating and cooling for the building. “Geothermal is an incredibly efficient way to reduce the energy used to heat and cool buildings in our climate. Kellogg is the second building where Northwestern has deployed geothermal, and I doubt it will be the last,” said Rob Whittier, Director of Sustainability for Northwestern.

Low-flow water fixtures will be used throughout the building and a 2,000-gallon cistern will capture rainwater for irrigation. Water runoff will be reduced through permeable paving and bioswales, which protect the local ecosystem through trapping and filtering pollutants before entering the watershed.

Other sustainable features include a white roof, which will reduce the solar gain of the building, recycled and local materials used for construction, and the use of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset some of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the building’s energy use which are procured through NU’s relationship with 3Degrees, Inc.

“We expect this building to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification and LEED platinum is well within reach. As one of the top business schools in the world, I believe Kellogg and Northwestern have a responsibility to set the precedent as innovators and good stewards of the global ecosystem,” stated Whittier.