Sophia's House Earns Gold LEED Certification

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Sophia's House, a home-away-from-home that allows guests to be near their loved ones who are receiving care at Saint Mary’s Health Care, received official Gold LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in December 2012. 

Named in honor of lead donor Peter M. Wege’s mother, Sophia Louise Wege, Sophia’s House minimizes its impact on the environment through the reuse of an existing facility, saving significant materials, resources, and energy costs. “The Gold LEED certification for Sophia’s House marks one of the highest achievements for construction using green principles,” said Phil McCorkle, Saint Mary’s president and CEO. “Grand Rapids is nationally known for its plentiful LEED certified buildings, thanks largely to the mission and generosity of the Wege Family and The Wege Foundation, which donated $1 million for the guest house. Saint Mary's Health Care is dedicated to building using only green initiatives, and Sophia's House stands as the most recent proof point for this commitment.” According to Erhardt Construction, Sophia’s House optimized a number of green building initiatives, including: 

• Exceeding local open space zoning requirements by 42 percent.  

• Reducing potable water used for landscape irrigation by 60 percent and for plumbing by 49 percent.  

• Achieving an energy cost savings of 15.4 percent.  

• Mindful use of materials.  

        97.5 percent building reuse. 

        91.5 percent construction and demolition waste diversion. 

        28.5 percent recycled content materials. 

        31.9 percent regionally manufactured/harvested materials. 

        91 percent certified wood. 

• Providing daylight for 76 percent of the occupied spaces. 

• Utilizing heat absorption reduction strategies for 100 percent of the site. 

Located on the corner of Lafayette Avenue SE and Cherry Street SE, the guest house opened June 2012 and features fifteen private guest rooms and countless amenities for guests, including an exercise room, lounge areas, Wi-Fi, laundry rooms, and a well-equipped kitchen. 

More information about Sophia’s House and LEED™ certification is available by visiting www.mercyhealthsaintmarys.com/sophiashouse and http://new.usgbc.org/leed

Source: Katie Halloran, Saint Mary's Heath Care

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