NU earns LEED Platinum for new Kellogg building

The Kellogg Global Hub.

The Kellogg School of Management’s Global Hub has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, becoming the second Northwestern University building to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest green building rating.

Opened in March 2017, the Global Hub is the first newly constructed building to earn platinum status and the 12th University building to be LEED certified between the Evanston and Chicago Campuses.

It also is Northwestern’s largest LEED-certified building at 415,000 square feet. The school's other LEED Platinum building is Kresge Centennial Hall

“Achieving LEED Platinum certification for the Global Hub underscores Kellogg’s strong commitment to sustainability,” Kellogg Chief Operating Officer William Garrett said. “A world-class facility demands world-class practices, and the Global Hub checks all of the boxes: it minimizes its carbon footprint, is comfortable and healthy for its occupants and encourages collaboration and a sense of community.”

Northwestern’s commitment to sustainability includes achieving at least LEED Gold certification for all new construction projects, while major renovations must earn at least LEED Silver.

The University has reduced its energy-use intensity by 11 percent since 2010 by pursuing best practices for buildings such as earning LEED certification.

Toward that end, the Global Hub taps into a geothermal energy system underneath an adjacent football practice field for efficient heating and cooling, and it uses LED lighting in nearly 6,000 fixtures throughout the facility.

Home to Kellogg and the Weinberg College of Arts and Science’s economics department, the Global Hub performed particularly well in two of LEED’s five categories: sustainable sites and water efficiency.

For the former, the Global Hub earned 23 of 26 possible points because its location offers occupants easy access to multiple forms of sustainable transportation. Occupants are close to public transportation and the Northwestern Shuttle, and the Global Hub provides bike racks, showers and changing rooms for cyclists.

The Global Hub also features low-flow plumbing fixtures in restrooms and kitchens, reducing water consumption by 40 percent. Its landscaping is designed for efficient irrigation and contains adapted plants that require minimal watering. Together, those features earned the Global Hub 8 of 10 possible points for the water efficiency category.  

In all, the Global Hub earned 85 points on LEED’s 110-point scale (80 points are required for Platinum). The building achieved 26 of 35 points for energy and atmosphere, 7 of 14 points for materials and resources, 11 of 15 points for indoor environmental quality and 10 of 10 points combined for the design process and regional priority categories.

“We are proud to have successfully integrated best-in-class sustainability with a stunning architectural design, proving that excellence in design and sustainability are not mutually exclusive,” said Bonnie Humphrey, director of design for facilities.

The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit with a mission to “transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.” More information on LEED is available on the organization’s website

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