LINCOLN PARK — The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded DePaul University's brand-new $72 million Theatre School the second highest environmentally sustainable designation on the council's scale.
The council gave the building a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold designation.
The award marks the third building at DePaul to receive LEED gold certification. The DePaul Art Museum, completed in 2011, was designated LEED Silver.
"DePaul’s new Theatre School underscores the fact that Chicago is a great theatre city, and a great architectural city,” said Brian Imus, executive director of the U.S. Green Building Council-Illinois, in a prepared statement. "Our city now boasts a performing arts building that is a role model for sustainability, and that deserves a thunderous round of applause."
A LEED "scorecard" of the project is available on the U.S. Green Building Council's website.
Gold is the second highest distinction on the scale.
Some aspects of the design that lead to the gold rating include a green roof to reduce stormwater run-off and create additional insulation, water-efficient landscaping, the use of recycled content in construction materials, automated lighting controls and optimization of heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
"This is no small feat with a building that contains so many large volume spaces and operates long hours," said Bob Janis, vice president for facility operations at DePaul.
The other DePaul buildings to receive LEED Gold certification were the Arts & Letters Hall in 2012 and the Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Science Building in 2009.
"As part of our comprehensive commitment to sustainability initiatives, we have pledged to build every new facility to LEED standards," said DePaul president Dennis H. Holtschneider. "DePaul has made good on that promise yet again.”
The theater school building was designed by the architectural firm of Pelli Clarke Pelli and includes two theaters, a 250-seat Fullerton Stage on the first floor and the 100-seat Sondra & Denis Healy Theatre on the fourth floor.