LEED Gold Goes to UMass Marching Band Building

May 9, 2012
George N. Parks Minuteman Marching Band Building is the first building to be LEED certified on the UMass Amherst campus.

The new George N. Parks Minuteman Marching Band Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). It is the first building to be LEED-certified on the UMass Amherst campus.

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The building was designed by Kuhn Riddle Architects of Amherst. The general contractor was Eastern General Contractors, Inc. of Springfield.

“Earning a LEED Gold rating from the USGBC is a testament to the dedication to sustainable practices by our design and construction team,” said Burt Ewart, UMass Amherst capital project manager for the building. “The university’s target was a moderately ambitious Silver rating, but because Kuhn Riddle Architects and Eastern General Contractors ‘live Green,’ a considerably higher goal was achieved. This was done without any additional expenditure and without compromising the functional utility and serviceability of the building.”

The Marching Band Building achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for the university and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the surrounding community. According to Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council,

“The Marching Band Building’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership. The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the construction industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and UMass Amherst serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.”

LEED certification of the George N. Parks Minuteman Marching Band Building was based on a number of green design and construction features including: Highly efficient mechanical systems, super-insulation, aggressive glazing choices and efficient lighting reduce energy costs. High-performance envelope (R35 walls and R30/R40 roof) reduces heating and cooling demands. Ventilation system with energy recovery improves indoor air quality, providing 30 percent more fresh air than required by code. Highly efficient plumbing fixtures reduce potable water use by 47,800 gallons annually and water consumption by 37.6%. Efficient lighting with occupancy and daylight sensing. Occupant-adjustable temperature levels to suit individual needs. Maximized use of regional materials with high recycled content. Low or zero-VOC paints, sealants and adhesives. More than 75% of construction waste recycled. Native, drought-tolerant plants on site.

The 15,000-sq.ft. building was completed in the spring of 2011 at a total project cost of $5.7 million, including private donations of approximately $1.2 million. It serves as the on-campus home for the “Power and Class of New England,” the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band, one of 13 collegiate marching band programs nationwide to be awarded the Sudler Trophy by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation.