Lawrence Tech’s commitment to sustainability in the classroom and on campus was recognized in April when the University became one of the first 16 recipients of the Michigan Green Leaders awards inaugurated by the Detroit Free Press.
Lawrence Tech was selected from 350 nominees, and the selection committee said the University has “set the gold standard” when it comes to combining sustainability practices and educations.
“We really do try to practice what we teach,” said Joseph Veryser, the University’s architect who is also associated dean of the College of Architecture and Design and director of Lawrence Tech’s for Sustainability. “It’s important that our students see a strong commitment to the principles we ask them to follow in their professional careers.”
Many of the concepts taught in the classroom were put into practice in the construction at the A. Alfred Taubman Student Services Center, which has earned Silver certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council. The building’s lead designer was Harley Ellis Devereaux architect Arthur Smith, BSAr’78, Bar’81.
The Taubman Center serves as a “living laboratory” of sustainable site development and construction, water and energy efficiency, recycled materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. A system of 120 geothermal wells heats and cools the building. The center’s 10,000 square foot living green roof absorbs most of a normal rainfall, and the remainder drains into a 12,000 gallon cistern to be used as “gray” water.
Many best practices can be seen on campus, such as a bio-swale, bioretention cells (rain gardens), riparian buffer zones (native landscaping), and the use of porous pavers. A weir system, tile fields, long rooted grasses and trees prevent 60 percent of the rainwater that falls on the campus quadrangle from running into the Rouge River.
“There’s a certain responsibility institutions like Lawrence Tech realize they have. What they do is incredibly important to the vitality of the Rouge River and its watershed,” landscape architect Mark Hieber of Harley Ellis Devereaux told the Detroit Free Press.
Source: Lawrence Tech University