Location: Saginaw, Michigan
The project originally was anticipated to be demolition of an old wing of the building and replacement of the 10 classrooms with new construction. Originally constructed in 1958 as a seminary for the training of Catholic priests, the building was eventually converted to a Catholic high school and central offices for the Diocese. It was expanded in the 1980’s by the addition of a 10 classroom wing constructed with modular building construction. This wing was intended to be temporary. Over the years the condition of that wing had deteriorated to the point where it no longer adequately met the needs of the school.
After our initial visit to the site in late 2010 and some preliminary discussions with the owner, we began to believe that the project could be accomplished without expanding the building. At the same time, we put forward the idea that we seek LEED certification. The second and third floors of the building were originally dorm rooms for the priests in training. The structural system of the building (concrete frame) was the same from the ground to the roof. Our proposal to the Diocese was that they vacate the upper floors of the north wing and that we create the new classrooms there. Our rationale focused on the fact that the space was underutilized by the Diocese and that in the long term they would not only make better use of the space and have all of the classrooms they needed but they would also reduce their energy consumption in the process. They agreed to both suggestions.
Another benefit of taking the renovation approach is that the money they would have spent expanding the building now became available for almost totally renovating the building. Not only did they get 10 new classrooms, but they also got all of their existing classrooms and corridors fully renovated. The construction budget was three million dollars.
Sustainable features of the building include:
- A focus on alternative transportation using new bike paths and bike racks along with car pool parking and special parking for hybrid and electric vehicles.
- The entire campus is non-smoking.
- Creation of the 10 rooms without expanding the building is the most basic form of sustainability! Using what you already have!
- Virtually all construction demolition was recycled. Virtually all construction waste was recycled.
- Existing single-glazed windows were replaced with new energy-efficient windows. Daylight and views to all classrooms and hallways were maintained.
- The remodeled wing of the building was reroofed and insulation increased.
- Existing HVAC systems were replaced with new energy efficient systems restoring fresh air delivery to classrooms.
- The remodeled second and third floor received new heat recovery air handling systems with air conditioning. The system can deliver 100% fresh air. This is critical to interior air quality in the science wing.
- Existing lights were replaced with new T5 fixtures reducing the electrical consumption considerably and improving the light quality.
- Daylight harvesting was added to all areas allowing the system to automatically dim the lights when ambient conditions allow.
- Existing terrazzo floors and glazed walls were maintained.
- New finishes meet all sustainable requirements. Resilient flooring is linoleum tile, a very sustainable product.
- Water efficient fixtures were used in all new restrooms. Long range plans call for the same to be used as existing restrooms are renovated.
- Existing woodwork was maintained including converting existing wood trimmed chalkboards to white boards.
- Existing tack boards were maintained and resurfaced in lieu of replacing.
- Existing doors frames and hardware were maintained and refinished.
- All finishes meet low VOC requirements.
- The Diocese will be purchasing green power for the school.
- The building will serve as a teaching tool in the curriculum of the school, using the LEED features in all facets of the curriculum.
- HVAC and lighting controls were added and connected to the internet allowing universal access and control.
Through all this change, the character of the existing building was preserved allowing this beautiful building to continue to serve the Diocese for many years to come. Construction was completed in the fall of 2011 at a cost of $3.0 million. Basic LEED Certification is pending.