February 1, 2012

UW Tacomas Joy Building receives highest green-building certification

News and Information

The Green Building Certification Institute has awarded LEED Platinum certification – the highest, most rigorous certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system— to the University of Washington Tacomas Russell T. Joy Building.

It’s a first for Tacoma and for the University of Washington that a building has achieved the Platinum rating for “new construction/major remodel.” It is the second state-funded building to receive this recognition.

The Pacific Street side of UW Tacomas Russell T. Joy Building features retail space.

UW Tacoma

The Pacific Street side of UW Tacomas Russell T. Joy Building features retail space.

Erected in 1892 and named after its first owner, the Joy Building was the last of the historic structures along Pacific Avenue to be repurposed for the UW Tacoma campus. It opened last spring, easing the universitys need for classroom space and providing retail storefronts on the first floor facing Pacific Avenue.

“The Tacoma campus is a leader for the UW in green building,” said Clara Simon, sustainability manager in UWs Capital Projects Office.

The state mandates that all state-funded new construction and major renovations be designed, constructed and operated to at least a Silver LEED certification level.

“The Joy Building has earned a rating two levels higher,” Simon said.

“LEED Platinum certification is very difficult to achieve on new construction, and even more difficult for renovations,” added Milt Tremblay, director of facilities and campus services.

Among the many features of the Joy Building that earned it the high rating is a system that captures 90 percent of the rainwater falling on the building and reuses it in planters.

Eighty-four percent of the building structure was reused, including brick walls. The heavy metal door provides décor from the buildings industrial beginnings.

UW Tacoma

Eighty-four percent of the building structure was reused, including brick walls. The heavy metal door provides décor from the buildings industrial beginnings.

Other sustainable features include:

–44 percent water reduction during building operations, compared to what LEED standards consider a standard building
–50 percent reduction in energy100 percent Forest Stewardship Council certified wood used
–95 percent of construction waste recycled
–84 percent of building structure reused
–Electrical vehicle recharging station installed
–56 secure bike storage locations
–23 percent recycled content in building materials
–Daylight access in 90 percent of occupied spaces
–20 percent of materials were purchased within 500 mile
–Green cleaning during building operations
–Sited in an urban density area with community connectivity
–Built near public transportation

The architect of the renovation was THA Architecture and the general contractor was Korsmo Construction.

The campus side of the Joy Building.

UW Tacoma

The campus side of the Joy Building.