LANSING, Mich. — Scott Woosley, executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), announced MSHDA has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). MSHDA is the first state of Michigan agency to achieve LEED status for its Lansing office. It’s a 105,500-square-foot, four-story rented building that on any given day has about 270 employees.

“This achievement shows our commitment to the goal of building a healthy, sustainable future,” Woosley said. “The relatively small, incremental changes we have implemented have resulted in big benefits, including a healthier and more energy efficient building, and long-term cost savings. We believe these are best practices that can and should be replicated on MSHDA-funded projects whenever possible.”

Peter Hughes, LEED-accredited sustainable development specialist in MSHDA’s Downtown and Community Services Division, spearheaded the 18-month effort, aided by facility and office services staff, including Chris Hudson, Keith Tripp, and Deanna Anderson. Receiving the green light from MRT Management staff, rental property managers of the MSHDA building, was instrumental in getting the project off the ground.

“We took this on because we wanted to practice what we were preaching about building energy efficient, durable housing for the people we are here to serve,” Hughes said.

“Now, we can say to developers, ‘Look, we did it, under budget, on time, and it shouldn’t be that complicated for you to do it, too.’”

MSHDA managers approved an $85,500 budget, based on the project paying for itself in 4½ years. “Everyone was pleasantly surprised when we ended up with more savings than anticipated at a lower cost,” Hughes said.

Actual project costs came in at $59,431, a 30 percent savings. While 10 percent energy savings and 15 percent water savings were projected, the savings came in at 10 percent and 21 percent, respectively. The end result is savings of $17,000 a year, meaning the project will pay for itself in 3½ years.

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Publication date: 7/21/2014

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