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Center for Veterans in Higher Education: LEED Gold (Completed)

Recent Project Updates


The Chez Family Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education was awarded LEED Gold Certification on January 29, 2019. The project achieved 60 out of 110 total points on the LEED v2009 BD+C: New Construction scorecard, giving it Gold status. Along with sustainability, a major focus of the Veterans Center is occupant comfort. 12 of 15 points were achieved in the Indoor Environmental Quality category for strategies taken including optimal daylighting and views, thermal comfort design and verification, and individual controls of lighting and thermal comfort systems. Additionally, this LEED project implemented indoor chemical and pollution source control, outdoor air delivery monitoring, and low emitting materials. The mechanical ventilation and conditioning systems of this building are in compliance with the ASHRAE 55-2004 standards. The LEED scorecard can be viewed in the project posting in the USGBC Directory or below in Related Files.  


The Veterans Center was designed to be a welcoming space for all student veterans to connect and study in a comfortable setting, so optimal indoor environmental quality was aimed for. The project includes a large lounge for interaction and an ADA compliant kitchen on the first floor for cooking dinners and teaching. Other features include a counseling wing, fourteen residential units that accommodate disabilities, and a gym. 


Sustainability goals that were achieved in the Veterans Center include: 

  • Low-emitting materials that comply with VOC limits were used for all paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, and flooring systems. 
  • 100% of nonroof hardscape surfaces exceed a minimum solar reflectivity index (SRI) of 29. 
  • Alternative transportation access: no new individual parking spaces were created for the building, and it is in close proximity to multiple bus stops. 
  • Indoor potable water use was reduced by 27% with automatic sensor faucets. Outdoor water use was eliminated within 18 months of construction with water efficient native landscaping. 
  • An energy cost savings of 17% as well as enhanced commissioning. 
  • Refrigerant management: no refrigerants are present in any of the HVAC or fire suppression systems. 
  • A two-year purchase agreement for green power for 36% of the building through renewable energy certificates (RECs). 
  • 20% of building materials are recycled, and 37% are local and have been extracted within 500 miles. 
  • The project has been designed to minimize occupant exposure to hazardous chemical pollutants and particulates. 
  • Lighting and thermal controls are installed for 100% of building occupants and 100% of multi-occupant spaces. 
  • 87% of regularly occupied spaces have daylighting and 95% have direct outdoor views for optimal occupant comfort. 

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Project Team

  • Primary Contact:

    Thomas Keller

    Project Leader:

    Mark Roessler (Project Manager) & Charlie Saville (Project Manager - WMA Consulting Engineers)

    Team Members:

    • Armando Tobias (Architect)
    • Brian Huckstep (Commissioning Agent)
    • Cynthia Cope


  • Proposed March 14, 2012
    Proposed by University of Illinois
    Started September 1, 2012
    Completed January 29, 2019
    Completed by USGBC


Project Location(s)

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