Sustainability Initiative  




Progress: LEED Certified Buildings

All new construction projects and major renovations on Aquinas' campus are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. This commitment ensures that quality, environmentally considerate buildings and projects are undertaken on campus. Find more information about our LEED Certified buildings below.
Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center
Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center
  • 1607 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • In 2010, Aquinas College's Fieldhouse was completely renovated to become the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center. The renovation was done through Rockford Construction and the building achieved basic LEED certification (LEED NC 2.2).
  • Architect: Integrated Architecture
  • Size: 57,000 sq. ft.
  • Green Features:
    • Building systems are designed to exceed energy savings of comparable buildings by 46 percent.
    • Cooling and refrigeration systems support early compliance with the Montreal Protocol.
    • Over 95 percent of all construction waste was diverted from local landfills through recycling and reuse.
Academic Building: Second Floor

Academic Building

Completed in 1955, the Academic Building housed offices for College administrators, staff and faculty, in addition to classrooms and the library. When the library moved to its new LEED certified facility in 2006, the second level of the Academic Building was left vacant. The College decided to renovate and update the building's second level. This renovation was done through Rockford Construction and it has earned silver LEED certification from the USGBC. During the renovation process, over 75% of construction waste was diverted from a landfill.


To maximize energy efficiency on the second floor of the Academic Building, HVAC systems, lighting systems, and appliances were reviewed and selected based on energy performance. Daylight sensors were an addition to the lighting controls, turning off the lights when they sense adequate natural light for the particular space. The second floor of the Academic Building houses classrooms and offices, as well as the Center for Sustainability. This space serves as a common area where students and faculty can come together, increasing communication.

Ravine Apartment D

Ravine Apartment D

Aquinas College has experienced an increased growth in the student population in recent years, resulting in an increasing demand for on campus housing. To address this issue, the College decided to construct a new housing structure for upperclassmen. Ravine Apartment D received LEED certification at the basic level after construction completed in 2008. Tight controls were established during the building process which reduced construction waste and allowed the project team to recycle 95% of the construction and land clearing debris.


Located on the east side of campus, the Aquinas College Ravine Apartment Building D facility overlooks a nature preserve area and creek bed. Storm water runoff is routed into infiltration basins, which are shallow impoundments designed to allow storm water to infiltrate into the ground. This helps to recharge local aquifers and it is believed to have high pollutant removal efficiency. State-of-the-art HVAC and electrical systems were installed to reduce energy consumption. Water use was reduced 23.2% by carefully selecting water efficient fixtures and equipment. In accordance with the College’s goals for high systems performance, this facility was designed to operate efficiently. >More information

Grace Hauenstein Library
Grace Hauenstein Library

The Grace Hauenstein Library received silver level LEED certification from the USGBC. Construction of the library was completed in 2006.


  • Waste Not: Over 75% of all construction waste was diverted from landfills through recycling and reuse.
  • Enlightened Lighting: Large windows allow daylight to be maintained in 75% of spaces and views in 90% of the seated spaces. This reduces the need for artificial lighting. In addition, daylight sensors were installed to turn off the lights when enough natural light is adequate to perform tasks in a given space.
  • Saving Water: Water use was reduced 30% by equipping the women’s and men’s restrooms with dual flush water closets, censored faucets and ultra-low flow urinals. Also, kitchen and janitor sinks were fitted with faucets that included aerators.
  • Clearing the Air: An indoor air quality plan was put into place during construction to reduce the amount of indoor air contaminates that are odorous, possibly irritating, or harmful to the installers and/or occupants. All adhesives, paints, sealants, and coatings are low or no-VOC (volatile organic compound) emitting. Carpets meet the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Plus criteria. Once the project was completed, the new HVAC systems were purified to maintain the indoor air quality. A green cleaning program is also in place to assure clean and healthy air quality is maintained.
  • Local vendors, local materials: Some of the building materials (20%) were harvested, extracted, recovered or manufactured from facilities within 500 miles of Aquinas. By purchasing materials from local manufacturers, we stimulate the regional economy and reduce the environmental impact of transporting materials to the job site.
  • Education displays are in place to highlight the green components of the Grace Hauenstein Library.

>>Download (pdf) information on the photovoltaic system

>Download a brochure of the LEED certified buildings on campus (pdf)