We are thrilled to announce that the UMASS Amherst Student Union Renovation and Addition project has officially been awarded LEED Silver Certification! As an existing structure with an established orientation the new Union responds to climate and solar exposure as much as possible. Additionally, preservation of existing trees and shrubs was prioritized and a significant amount of the site plan provides pedestrian access because it is located at the campus “crossroads”. Accommodations for prevailing winds were made such as a grand entry vestibule which minimizes cold winds passing directly into the building. The Campus Pond is a manmade feature feeding into the campus stormwater management plan, but it also offers a habitat for fowl and small animals. Therefore, the view is a defining characteristic of the campus’ rural ambiance and was a factor in the Ballroom location and amount of glazing used on the east and south elevations. The most significant construction element with reuse potential was the Union building itself. Originally completed in 1956, it is historically significant to the campus and is a beloved building at the heart of the campus, therefore repurposing it helps maintain the campus’ identity. As the main entry, the West elevation was of specific importance. The design respects it by stepping the mass of the Mechanical Level back, balancing with the symmetry of the new components, and by matching the new brick as closely as possible to the existing. Unfortunately, it was not feasible to salvage brick in the demolished envelope elements for too many of them were damaged or had spalled over the years. These key strategies combined with others, delivers a beautiful and efficient new facility for the UMASS students, staff and public to enjoy for decades – congratulations to the entire team on this great achievement!