Wight & Company, Darien, Ill., recently earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for six projects.
Mark Wight, chairman, says each project’s challenges were met through a team effort between Wight, its clients, and its partners.
The six projects earning gold certification:
• West Hall at Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Ill. The latest addition to the Elmhurst College campus, West Hall is the first project designed and constructed under the college’s new sustainable master plan. Designed to achieve a silver designation, the project received sufficient points for a LEED Gold certification.
Wight’s sustainable design focuses on stormwater management and includes a permeable parking lot (which can hold a 100-year storm event below its surface), bioswales, rain gardens, rainwater harvesting and native landscapes to decentralize stormwater management. The project also was designed to reduce the urban “heat island” effect and light pollution; utilize low toxin emitting materials; capitalize on daylight and natural ventilation; incorporate recycled material; and use solar/thermal energy to heat water.
• The 9th District Police Station, Chicago, Ill. The new facility sits on S. Halsted St. from W. 31st St. to just past W. 32nd St. One of its unique aspects is its water-management design, which was devised by Wight & Company’s civil engineering group and features a rain garden. Another notable achievement was diverting more than 97% of construction debris from landfills.
• Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Atlantic Hall No. 3, Great Lakes, Ill. The challenge in designing the 58,000-sq-ft building was to blend the U.S. Navy’s traditional design with environmentally friendly strategies and technologies. For example, the design maximizes open areas to minimize the building’s impact on the site. The design team provided a careful selection of site material and vegetation-enhanced stormwater management. The traditional design aesthetic was maintained using materials with high recycled content and low/no VOC emissions; and high efficiency mechanical and electrical systems were combined with the in-place base infrastructure. Originally targeted for Silver certification, the project received sufficient points for LEED Gold.
• Phase 2, Corporate Financial Institution, Chicago, Ill. While Phase 1 of the project revolved around the consolidation of several business groups at one location, Phase 2 focused on renovating existing space with a more modern, light and bright feel. The renovation included space for the consumer banking group, a large-scale training facility and an innovation lab. The space achieved LEED-CI Gold certification in part due to re-use of existing furniture from Chicagoland and a near-40% reduction in water use.
• Phase 3, Corporate Financial Institution, Chicago, Ill. While the previous phase of the project focused primarily on renovating the client’s existing space, Phase 3 was a completely new build-out based on existing branch standards. The design of the Phase 3 space included a handful of unique credits, such as achieving a LEED credit for allowing more than 90% of regularly occupied spaces a view to the outside world and the monitoring of dense areas to determine whether the CO2 levels are acceptable.
• A Laboratory in a Northern Chicago Suburb. Wight’s work required turning a former laboratory facility into environmentally friendly office space. The project achieved LEED Gold certification for its many sustainable features, including an efficient HVAC design with zoning controls to help improve energy use, and earning all credits in the indoor environmental quality section of the LEED review, other than the daylight and views credits.