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Sustainability Champions

Findorff is excited to share some recent industry news surrounding sustainability. Being sustainable protects our surrounding communities now and in the future. As an industry leader, we are privileged to have completed 36 LEED-certified facilities. And, of those facilities, we'd like to congratulate and highlight recent acknowledgments from the Dane County Climate Champions and the U.S. Green Building Council West North Central (USGBC WNC) Region 2020 Regional Leadership Award. They include:Dane County Climate Champions:

  • Exact Sciences – Discovery Campus (2-Star/Water): Due to Exact Sciences' unprecedented growth, the Discovery Campus includes a new 300,000-gallon underground rainwater storage tank that is used for flush fixtures and irrigation. Although an important piece to Exact Sciences' commitment to sustainability, Exact Sciences' initiatives go far beyond just rainwater storage, as their new facility, Innovation One – Exact Sciences' Headquarters at University Research Park, has most recently received a LEED® Silver certification.
  • Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District – Pope Farm Elementary School (2-Star/Water): Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District was recognized as a Climate Champion due to the District’s efforts to reduce salt use and increase water conservation at the new Pope Farm Elementary School. The new facility was constructed near the crest of a glacial moraine adjacent to the 102-acre Pope Farm Conservancy. The conservancy has panoramic views, restored prairies and interpretive trails that have inspired the school’s interior design.  Each grade will have its own identity, all organized around unifying themes: pollinators. Grade-level graphics will help students find their way around and reinforce the school’s connection to the nearby conservancy.
  • Oregon School District – Forest Edge Elementary School (3-Star/Other): Projected to be the first net-zero school constructed in Wisconsin, Forest Edge Elementary could receive a 4-Star Energy award in 2021 once building performance data is confirmed after one full year of operation. As a potential net-zero energy building, Forest Edge will use a combination of building energy efficiency and on-site energy generation to produce at least as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. Reflecting this progressive commitment of the Oregon School District, Forest Edge will be an innovative, sustainable building while maintaining a clear focus on creating exceptional learning spaces.
  • Sun Prairie Area School District – Meadow View Elementary School (3-Star/Energy Use) & Token Springs Elementary School (3-Star/Energy Use): Utilizing 75% less energy than a typical elementary school, both Meadow View and Token Springs Elementary Schools feature energy-efficient building design, such as geothermal heating and cooling systems, rooftop solar panels, LED lighting, drought-resistant landscaping, and outdoor learning spaces. Also, Meadow View and Token Springs feature classroom areas that open to large collaboration spaces, green rooms, makerspaces, and exposed geothermal rooms to provide teaching opportunities for students about sustainability. By utilizing Focus on Energy’s Design Assistance (DA) program when building Meadow View and Token Springs, the District was able to receive an incentive payment of more than $350,000 from Focus on Energy and Sun Prairie Utilities!
  • UW Health at The American Center (Emerging/Energy Use): As the first LEED® for Healthcare Gold certified hospital in the State of Wisconsin, The American Center strategically developed a one-of-a-kind health and wellness center committed to a completely patient-focused care model. This certification also ranks The American Center as one of 17 in the world and one of ten in the United States for Gold level certification in the healthcare category!

USGBC WNC Region 2020 Regional Leadership Awards:

  • American Family Insurance East Regional Building (ERB), 2020 Award of Merit – Innovative Project, Interiors: Reducing energy costs by 32% was no small feat for the ERB renovation. Nearly 200,000 square feet of interior office space was renovated to update HVAC and lighting systems and add an efficient envelope system. This work played a significant role in the facility's LEED® certification. In addition, a complete overhaul of the building automation system and direct digital control was included in the project to modernize energy-saving strategies through high-performance sequences of operation. And, over 75% of on-site generated construction waste was diverted from landfills while over 33% of total building-material content manufactured used recycled materials. In the end, the ERB surpassed a LEED® Silver certification and obtained LEED® Gold certification.
  • The Commons at Marquette University, 2020 Certificate of Leadership – Innovative Design, New Construction: The Commons is Marquette University’s new, state-of-the-art, 292,000 square foot, nine- and 12-story conjoined co-ed residence hall facility. Prior to the start of construction, a focus was placed on sustainability and LEED® practices for The Commons. Throughout construction, emphasis was placed on proper erosion control, in addition, over 3,350 tons of materials were diverted from landfills, which was nearly 90% of the total construction debris. Furthermore, the project's sustainable features include: a stormwater collection tank buried below the central courtyard, a green roof system that goes above and beyond the minimum stormwater collection requirements, low-emitting materials and products utilized throughout construction, as well as low-flow water fixtures and LED lighting installed throughout the building. Such building features allowed The Commons to achieve LEED® Silver certification.

Congratulations to all the teams for your award-winning work and sustainable efforts!

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