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Saint Michael's Pomerleau Alumni Center earns LEED Certification

04.26.11

PomerleauSaint Michael's College was notified April 26th by the Green Building Certification Institute of Washington, D.C., that its Pomerleau Alumni Center, dedicated in the fall of 2009, qualifies for LEED Silver Certification. A glass plaque and certificate have been awarded to the college, announcing this achievement.

The 6,500-square-foot Pomerleau Alumni Center, funded by The Tony B. and Rita M. Pomerleau Foundation and alumni contributions, contains a meeting room suitable for lectures, alumni gatherings, dinners and trustee meetings, and supporting areas, and the college's Offices for Alumni and Parent Relations. It provides a concrete way to recognize the college's strong connection to our graduates, said Saint Michael's President John J. Neuhauser.

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Certification

LEED is widely recognized as the designation for an environmentally sound, energy efficient building. Gaining that designation requires numerous, step-by-step applications and approvals from the certifying organization, the U.S. Green Building Council.

President Neuhauser instructed Saint Michael's Architect James Farrington to design the the Pomerleau Center as a LEED building. After completing the initial design, Farrington enlisted Wiemann Lamphere Architects "to complete biddable documents and take leadership on the LEED process." Pizzagalli Construction was the successful bidder.

"Both Wiemann Lamphere and Pizzagalli did a great job with the project and the added complexities of ensuring this project achieved LEED certification," said Architect Farrington.

"We are delighted with the results of this functional, energy-efficient, and graceful building that allows us to welcome and celebrate our alumni," President Neuhauser said. "It is gratifying that our efforts to be environmentally sound have earned official LEED certification," the President added.

"Green" Building Details

Gaining LEED certification requires following a precise process during construction. For instance, builders must use specific clean air methods that protect the health of workers. The percentage of materials that end up being recycled, not put into landfills, must reach a certain LEED threshold, and other such requirements.

"We used Vermont Brick Company which was a huge contributor to the regional product requirement," said Architect Farrington. "It was the brick I would have chosen anyway," he added. "The boiler is high efficiency; the whole building is very tight with high R value." It incorporates recycled lumber, water conservation structures, regionally available materials, and other features that give LEED points.

Every office has large, sound windows to provide good day lighting requiring less use of artificial light. The lighting was designed to use less than one watt per square foot-a LEED point item. Water conservation was achieved through low-use plumbing fixtures that yield better than 40 percent less water usage than standard fixtures.

According to the LEED website, "LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts."

Tony Pomerleau

Anthony B. Pomerleau, 92, a Burlington real estate developer well known for his generosity in Vermont, served on the Saint Michael's Board of Trustees in the 1970s, and was awarded an honorary Saint Michael's doctoral degree in 1994. He sent two of his sons and a granddaughter to the college, and his son Ernie Pomerleau '69 currently serves on the college's Board of Trustees.

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