Webster University’s new East Academic Building reflects the institution’s dedication to sustainability. Designed to meet LEED Silver certification, the university has committed to using only-LEED accredited design professionals on its projects. In addition to a long list of sustainable achievements, the building site contains two rain gardens. These planted depressions allow rainwater to runoff impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways and walkways to be absorbed into the ground. This feature reduces the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams by up to 30 percent. Two green roofs coved with vegetation and a growing medium have been planted to increase the building’s energy efficiency year-round.
Another interesting feature is the building’s “wet suit,” an impermeable membrane vapor barrier “envelope” that will result in an estimated savings of $30,000 per year. Mackey Mitchell worked with design firm Robert A.M. Stern to create this new academic building which is a testament to the university’s dedication to practicing and teaching environmental citizenship.