The King Pavillion at Iowa State University’s College for design is the first higher education building in Iowa to receive LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Designed by Des Moines, Ia-based RDG Planning & Design, the $6.6-million, 23,735-square-foot project is designed as a central, two-story forum surrounded by instructional studios.

The project earned 53 points out of a total 69 points for LEED Platinum certification. Among the sustainable achievements, the Pavilion achieved 100 percent daylighting. Clerestory windows on both levels of the building reduce the need for artificial lighting and, combined with light monitor via the sloped section of roof in the atrium, allow for uniform lighting levels throughout the facility. Sensors throughout the structure monitor occupancy and light levels, automatically turning lights on and off as needed. As a result, King Pavilion is 42 percent more energy efficient than a code-compliant building. “According to our energy model, the King Pavilion will save a little more than $22,000 per year in energy—about $1 per square foot—over a code baseline,” notes Michael Andresen, RDG intern architect.

The Pavilion also received high points for water efficiency as it achieved a 50 percent reduction in water usage over a code-compliant building. Strategies employed to reach this reduction include dual-flush toilets in the restrooms, automatic sink faucets, and low-flow urinals.

A green roof designed by Conservation Design Forum features 20 varieties of plants, including 14 varieties of sedum, a gravel-sand medium, and three layers of substrate materials to control moisture flow. In addition to healing reduce the heat island effect, the living roof prevents up to 80 percent of rain and snowmelt form flowing into storm sewers as runoff. Also addressing stormwater management issues, the site employs various water-retention techniques such as rain gardens and detention cells under permeable paved areas.

A significant portion of the new building is naturally ventilated with operable windows and, because King Pavilion will not be used during the summer, it is not air conditioned. Motion and carbon dioxide sensors automatically switch on blowers to circulate air when the systems detect occupants in the studios. Also addressing indoor air quality, the design team selected low-VOC paint and adhesives, polished concrete floors, and no added urea-formaldehyde in the casework.