Walbridge – Detroit, Michigan

Walbridge’s world headquarters in Detroit, Mich., has received LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Walbridge is a full-service construction service provider with locations across the United States and international offices in Canada, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. The Walbridge headquarters is the first commercial interior in the city of Detroit to achieve LEED Silver certification.  

Walbridge moved into the building at 777 Woodward two years ago and quickly set about to renovating the interior to meet LEED-CI certification standards.  “A CI LEED certification can be even harder to achieve than a new construction project,” explained Dan Lamble, the Walbridge engineering manager responsible for the renovation effort.  “When you’re dealing with existing construction, you must reconfigure and redesign systems as well as replace materials, which is often more complex than starting from scratch.”  Source:  Walbridge  

In order to achieve the LEED-CI Silver certification level, Walbridge engineers had to implement several eco-friendly measures. A few of the project’s green highlights include recycling or diverting nearly 80 percent of construction waste, using locally sourced construction materials on more than half of the project, low-VOC products, energy-efficient lighting, and a focus on using natural light in the building.

Omega Center for Sustainable Living – Rhinebeck, New York Photo by Andy Milford

The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), a natural wastewater treatment facility, has not yet received LEED certification but it is expected that the building will be the first in the United States to achieve both LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certification.  

The facility utilizes several eco-conscious features including a green roof, rain gardens, onsite renewable energy, automatic windows, and locally sourced construction materials.  Although LEED Platinum certification is the highest level of USGBC certification, Living Building Challenge certification takes green building to a new level.  

The Living Building Challenge specifications are quite different from the LEED checklists.  A building must be operational for at least 12 months as actual performance data is used in determining if a building qualifies for the Living Building Challenge certification. Another big difference is that Living Buildings must generate 100 percent of their energy use onsite. 

To learn more about the OCSL, view the following video: 

Skip Backus - "OCSL Site Tour 3" from Omega Institute on Vimeo.

OCSL interior photo by Andy Milford; OCSL exterior photo by Gregory Edwards

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