The new 136,000-square-foot Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, Michigan, was completed in April 2009 and is expected to achieve LEED certification later this year
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan, October 10, 2009 – Thomas M. Cooley Law School has achieved another milestone – not only is it the nation’s largest law school, but it is now the first “green” law school in the state of Michigan with the completion of its newest campus, located on a wooded 67-acre site in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Designed by Berkley, Michigan-based SHW Group, the 136,000-square-foot complex is slated to receive LEED certification in late 2009, making it the first LEED-certified law school in Michigan. Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Rockford Construction was the project’s general contractor.
The project encompasses the renovation of an existing 68,000-square-foot corporate training facility previously owned by DaimlerChrysler Corporation, as well as the construction of a new 68,000-square-foot addition. Major components include complete wireless Internet access, two computer labs, a fully functional courtroom, a new law library, a full-service bookstore with internet café, and multiple large classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art, high-definition videoconferencing and high-quality, digital-sound recording systems, enabling students to download recorded class podcasts for later study.
“The idea was to convert a building that was essentially ‘offline’ into an educational learning environment,” said Jim Chatas, project manager for SHW Group. “While utilizing the existing shell of the building, we manipulated the interior environment to accommodate 21st-century learning.”
New mechanical systems, lighting systems and environmentally friendly materials rejuvenated the facility while making major improvements such as minimizing energy consumption. Additional sustainable features of the project include the following:
· Reuse of the existing building and specified recycled materials as well as the recycling of construction waste to divert the materials to the landfill (e.g., waste generated during the renovation and construction of the addition);
· A green roof made of a sedum grass-like vegetation on the new structure to not only absorb carbon dioxide and about 60-100 percent of rain (helping to reduce flooding), but also to enhance insulation, which is estimated to reduce heating and cooling costs by 15 percent;
· A reflective white roof on the existing structure to reflect heat from the building to minimize the summer cooling load and reduce power usage;
· Water-efficient landscaping and low-flow toilet and plumbing fixtures to conserve fresh water;
· Computer-controlled heating and cooling system to automatically dial down power usage when the buildings are not in use while maximizing the use of outdoor fresh air;
· Preservation and use of existing natural lighting and the installation of lower-wattage lighting fixtures, in addition to the installation of room sensors to automatically turn lights on and off in unused rooms and to further conserve energy;
· Low volatile organic compound paints, sealants, carpets and wood materials to greatly minimize toxic fumes emitted upon application and during building occupancy;
· Use of drywall made from 98-percent synthetic gypsum created as a byproduct of power plants and two-percent recycled paper;
· Recycling center is located within the building to further reduce landfill waste.
ABOUT SHW GROUP
SHW Group, LLC a Michigan-based architectural and engineering firm is one of the state’s leading educational design firms. More than just an A/E firm, the company is known for its comprehensive collaboration with educators, and researchers to design innovative facilities that support the learning process. For more information, please visit www.shwgroup.com.
ABOUT COOLEY LAW SCHOOL
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the country. Founded in 1972, it operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Lansing. Today, Cooley Law School has more than 13,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September. Additional information about Cooley can be found at www.cooley.edu.