Happy Earth Day: LEED Gold for Discovery Hall

LEED Gold logo

Just in time for Earth Day, University of Washington Bothell’s Discovery Hall has achieved a LEED Gold rating for its environmental and sustainable features.

Sustainability is one of seven priority areas in the 21st Century Campus Initiative that guides the development of UW Bothell, said Warren Gold, associate professor of environmental science and co-chair of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability.

“LEED Gold certification of Discovery Hall is a recognition of the priority that UW Bothell places on being a leader in environmental sustainability,” Gold says.

LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is the rating system of the United States Green Building Council. Four possible levels of certification – certified, silver, gold and platinum -- encourage sustainable design.

Will Dann, the principal architect with the firm Hacker in Portland, says Discovery Hall was one of the most exciting projects he’s worked on.

“It comes from the enthusiasm and sense of inquiry that the faculty and students that were on the committee brought to the project,” he said. “They made the idea of science-on-display come to life.”

Many of the sustainability features are out in the open so students can experience them directly, Dann said.

The $68 million Discovery Hall opened for classes in the fall of 2014. It is home to the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and accommodates about 1,000 students.

The building was designed with an energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. It’s oriented to optimize the use of sunlight. Sensors turn off lights in unoccupied areas.

Discovery Hall was constructed using recycled material where possible. Plumbing fixtures are low-flow.

Beside the building, stormwater runoff captures one's attention as it flows to the wetlands. Landscaping uses native plants or plants that don’t require much additional watering.

In addition to the architect Hacker, partners with UW Bothell on Discovery Hall include the contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis, and landscape architect Walker Macy.

Architectural graphic of LEED features of Discovery Hall: