Your Green Life: "UMD's Civil Engineering Building"

By KBJR News 1

February 21, 2013 Updated Feb 21, 2013 at 8:41 AM CST

Duluth, MN
The Swenson Civil Engineering Building at UMD has received yet another award of excellence for being a sustainably built facility.

James Riehl, the Dean of Science and Engineering at UMD told me they "Really tried to incorporate local things into the building, the building construction and design."

This new award is from the Minnesota Construction Association.
The building already is gold LEED certified. Riehl says UMD is honored to receive yet another award.

"To end up with a building that's energy efficient in a cold climate like Duluth where your sending warm air outside sometimes is really quite remarkable."

This building stands as an example to the students studying civil engineering on how to build sustainably.

"The country has really experienced a lot of infrastructure failures in a way, infrastructure events; Katrina, the bridge falling down in Minneapolis, earthquakes in Haiti, and I really think it has resulted in young people wanting to be part of working on our countries infrastructure." Says Riehl.

But this building does more than house classrooms for learning, but also acts as a learning tool itself.

Kyrstyn Haapala, a Senior studying Civil Engineering at UMD told me, "Teachers are able to point out different aspects of the building in class, so we are able to learn as well as using the lab space that we have."

Haapala says its important to use sustainable practices for our futures sake.

"Using the local materials and everything it's a way to keep our resources for future generations to use."

The facility has a state of the art ventilation system and uses regional materials such as northern Minnesota taconite and recycled pickle barrels from Wisconsin.

Meteorologist Adam Lorch