Powerhouse celebrates prestigious LEED Silver rating

The Powerhouse recently earned a LEED Silver rating for its optimal use of power, natural light, water-efficient landscaping, and its sustainable site choice with community connectivity.

The Powerhouse, a historic coal-powered generating station-turned-student union/recreation center, has achieved a LEED Silver certification for its earth and people-friendly design, construction, and operations.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a recognized international symbol of excellence.

The $37.5 million, 120,000 -square-foot facility, located along the Rock River, opened its doors to students, faculty, and the Beloit community in February 2020.

The Powerhouse taps into the river for its energy source — the system uses river water in radiant panels integrated into the building’s surfaces to heat and cool the structure as part of its LEED Silver energy efficient strategy.

Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and have a significant impact on our personal health and well-being. Green buildings offer us a better quality of life, while also lowering global carbon emissions, reducing electricity and water bills.

“Achieving LEED certification is more than just implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO, USGBC. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role buildings play in that effort, Beloit College is creating a path forward through their LEED certification.”

The Powerhouse’s design, construction, and operations improve environmental and human health make the world more sustainable.

“With Studio Gang and all our other partners, we have accomplished this glorious objective, ” said Beloit College President Scott Bierman. “Now, this building will be a marvel for generations to come and will join other LEED-certified building leaders in reducing the burden on the environment.

The Beloit landmark achieved a LEED Silver rating for energy-efficient mechanical systems and lighting, water saving plumbing systems integrated within a historic building being repurposed for new use, connecting the campus and the community. High LEED marks were given for reusing the power plant’s existing walls, floor, and roof.

Green buildings, like the Powerhouse, operate more sustainably and give the people inside them a healthier, more comfortable space to work. The facility features theater, classroom, and meeting spaces. There’s also a running track, an 8-lane competition swimming pool, and plenty of other areas to work out and rest up.

Bierman envisioned the project that turned the decommissioned Blackhawk coal-fired Generating Station into a modern, sustainable masterpiece. He credits Jeanne Gang, of the Studio Gang architecture firm, for bringing her “A” game to the showpiece project.

The Powerhouse design team includes:

Architect: Studio Gang

Associate Architect and LEED Project Administrator: Angus Young Associates

Mechanical Engineer: dbHMS

General Contractor: Corporate Contractor Inc. (CCI)

Civil Engineer: RH Batterman

Landscape Architect: AES

Athletic and Recreation Design Consultant: Hastings+Chivetta Architects

Total Construction Cost : $35.7 M

Square Feet: 120,000

October 07, 2022

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