A decade of ‘green’ leadership

Sustainability has been foundational to Van Andel Institute since day one.

Our commitment to green practices can be seen throughout our facilities, from extensive recycling and composting efforts to the very design of our research building, which seeks to minimize the burden on the environment while maximizing scientists’ impact on human health.

In 2011, our “Phase II” building expansion received LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in recognition of its sustainable design.

That commitment continues to receive recognition. During USGBC’s East North Central Region Leadership Awards for 2023, VAI’s Phase II earned additional accolades: the LEED Green Building Legacy Award. This honor recognizes Phase II as an iconic pillar of design and sustainability — a reflection of a decades-long legacy of minimizing environmental impact.

The Institute’s sustainability features include:

    • Photovoltaic rooftop panels and internal daylight controls that allow us to reduce our energy demands
    • Green roof and ivy-covered walls that help reduce the “heat island” effect
    • A 33,000-gallon rainwater capture and storage system that reduces our requirement for non-potable water

USGBC East North Central’s award recipients represent the best projects in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, placing Phase II among other sustainability icons in the Midwest. Nominated projects were judged on the categories within the LEED rating system, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials, environmental quality, and innovation in design.

“The awards are an opportunity to spotlight commitment and innovation in green building in East North Central region of the U.S.,” said Lana Crouse, regional director of USGBC East North Central. “Van Andel Institute Phase II and the other eight projects and organizations are local leaders in sustainability, embracing strategies and tools to curb carbon emissions and address the climate crisis. Van Andel Institute is showing through action how healthy buildings support communities.”

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system is the most widely used and trusted green building rating system in the world, with more than 100,000 certified projects worldwide. LEED buildings are cost-efficient, consume less water and energy, use fewer resources, and provide better indoor environmental quality than traditional buildings.

Learn more about sustainability and VAI ➔