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Catherine's Health Center awarded LEED Gold certification

Building receives U.S. Green Building Council's third highest level of LEED certification.
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Catherine’s Health Center, located in the former St. Alphonsus School, recently was awarded LEED Gold certification.

Catherine’s Health Center, located in the former St. Alphonsus School, recently was awarded LEED Gold certification. /Lyndi Weener-Kuiper

Catherine’s Health Center, located at 1211 Lafayette in downtown Grand Rapids, has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - is the USGBC’s rating system for designing and constructing the greenest, most energy-efficient, and high-performing buildings.

“Catherine’s Health Center has a long history of stewardship,” said Executive Director Karen Kaashoek. “So it only made sense to approach our new clinic design with the strongest environmental stewardship in mind as well. We are honored to be joining the ranks of LEED certified buildings in our community, and are grateful for the support from our funders which made this level of excellence possible.”

Catherine’s Health Center is the only free clinic in the Midwest, and one of only a handful in the entire nation, to receive the prestigious award.

The building was designed by architect John LaPorte and Associates, which led the design construction team to achieve LEED Gold certification for energy use, lighting and water and material use, as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. LEED verifies environmental performance, occupant health, and financial return. LEED was established for market leaders to design and construct buildings that protect and save precious resources while also working well economically.

“Given the task of achieving a LEED basic certification, the leadership of CHS’s staff and board helped to accelerate the certification level to Gold with no additional cost, the third highest level of certification within the LEED rating system,” said Eric Doyle of Catalyst Partners. “With the effort of the design and construction teams, generous donations from local philanthropic groups, and financial incentives through a local utility company, achieving significant energy reduction and a superior indoor environment was easily attainable.”

The project documented a 53% reduction in mechanical heating and cooling costs and a 35% reduction in water usage over baseline standards, which will reduce overall operating costs and allow the clinic to provide more high-quality health care services.

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