The Payne Family Native American Center at The University of Montana has been awarded LEED Platinum status, and on Friday, Dec. 9, the University will commemorate this achievement with a reception and plaque-unveiling.
“The Payne Family Native American Center became one of UM’s signature buildings when it was completed in 2010,” UM President Royce C. Engstrom said. “We couldn’t be more proud that this showpiece structure also is one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the state. It now serves as a shining example for all future campus building projects.”
The reception will run from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the building’s Bonnie HeavyRunner Gathering Place. The program will begin at 3:45 p.m.
Speakers will include Engstrom; Robert Duringer, UM vice president for administration and finance; Daniel Glenn, the Crow tribal member and architect who led design of the building; Christopher Comer, UM College of Arts and Sciences dean; and Terry Payne, the Missoula businessman whose family is the building’s major donor.
LEED Platinum status is the highest level of certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council for achieving sustainable building standards. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nation’s pre-eminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
Certification is based on dozens of criteria, such as efficient energy, water and material use; indoor environmental quality; and sustainable site selection. All new buildings constructed on campus are required to achieve at least a LEED Silver rating, the third-highest level.
The center needed to tally 52 out of a possible 69 points to earn Platinum status, and it scored 54. The building scored a perfect 10 in the optimum energy performance category, indicating energy savings of 42 percent over that of a standard building.
Green features of the Native American Center that helped it reach the Platinum level include its east-facing, canted roof with a central oculus and slotted skylight, which provide natural light to the majority of the building; high-efficiency fixtures such as low-flow faucets, showers and toilets; a groundwater-based cooling system; and high-efficiency air filters that minimize dust.
The structure also received points for the selection of a sustainable site on campus: Only one tree was removed (and later salvaged and used in the building’s floor), and no additional parking was needed to accommodate it. Even the native Montana grasses and shrubbery planted around the center required no permanent irrigation system to thrive.
When completed in 2010, The Payne Family Native American Center was the first building of its kind on any university campus in the nation. It houses UM’s Department of Native American Studies, American Indian Student Services and related campus programming under one roof.
Western Montana, Dailies