The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts at Hope College has earned LEED Silver certification, a result of the college’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.

“We’re excited to have a LEED-certified building on campus,” said Kara Slater, who is director of physical plant at the college and is a LEED accredited professional (LEED AP). “The certification underscores that we care about the environment and the materials and methods we used in construction as well as for on-going maintenance.  It also reflects our commitment to providing a building that isn’t just beautiful, but is a beautiful place to be for its occupants and visitors.”

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.  Projects participating in LEED are found in all 50 states and more than 164 countries and territories.

Home to the college’s Department of Music, the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts opened in 2015 and is the first building at Hope to earn LEED certification.  It achieved LEED Silver for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Among other examples, characteristics and practices in the building’s favor ranged from its location adjacent to downtown and the availability of public transportation, to the use of light-colored concrete to reflect light, to retention and filtering of storm water run-off on-site, to ductwork being covered during construction to keep it free of dust.  By weight, the materials used in construction have 32 percent recycled content (the concrete helped with that), and by cost more than 55 percent came from within 500 miles.  LED lighting bolsters an overall reduction in electrical use relative to others of the building’s size, and extra meters allow power use to be monitored.  Cleaning supplies are chosen to minimize environmental impact, and containers in the building encourage recycling.

The 64,000-square-foot Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts is located at 221 Columbia Ave., between Ninth and 10th streets.  The building includes two performance venues, the 125-seat John and Dede Howard Recital Hall and the 800-seat Concert Hall (the latter of which debuted in February 2016), as well as classrooms, practice rooms, faculty studios and office space for the Department of Music.  The total project cost was $35 million, which includes construction and an endowment for maintenance.

Architectural design was by HGA of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Construction manager was G.O. Construction, a joint venture of GDK Construction Co. of Holland and Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. of Grand Rapids.

The building is named in honor of Jack H. Miller for his lifetime of generosity to the college.  Miller, who resides in Grand Haven and Naples, Florida, and is a 1954 Hope graduate, led the Howard Miller Company for 48 years until retiring in 2002.  It was among the major initiatives of the college’s “A Greater Hope” comprehensive campaign, and was inspired by an initial lead gift to the campaign from Richard and Helen DeVos.

Although the center is the first at Hope to earn LEED certification, it likely won’t be the only one for long.  The college will also seek certification for the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center, which is currently under construction and scheduled to open in the fall.