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The Boldt Company: Awarded “Best in Show” for Lawrence University project

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Mary Schmidt

Warch Campus Center recognized for outstanding construction

It’s the greenest building in the history of Lawrence University, it received LEED Gold Certification and now has been named “Best in Show” for the Top Projects of 2009 by Wisconsin Builder Magazine. A panel of independent judges cited Lawrence University project team members — including The Boldt Company which provided construction management and general contractor services— for constructing a stunning building on a challenging site. A total of 31 projects completed in 2009 in Wisconsin were named the Top Projects of 2009 by Wisconsin Builder magazine and The Daily Reporter newspaper.

The five-story, $35 million Lawrence University Campus Center is a 107,000-square-foot facility that opened in fall of 2009. Built into a bluff over the Fox River, the project presented every challenge regarding earth-retention, limited space and support systems. To select the “Best in Show,” judges were asked to consider the challenges the project overcame before and during construction, the benefit the project had on the community and any advancement it provided to the state’s commercial construction industry.

When building the structure, crews had to dig more than 50 feet at some of the deepest points and needed to accommodate existing city sewer lines. To maintain sewer access, the building was built on caissons drilled into the bedrock. Boldt project teams also worked with the City of Appleton to divert water from the site before it reached the Fox River just below.

Sustainable innovations included recycling 95% of all construction waste keeping approximately 4.8 million pounds of concrete out of landfills. A land bridge carries foot and bicycle traffic over a congested city street. The bridge itself is green with grass and trees growing on top of a specialized foam and soil mixture that is light for the structure, yet retains enough water for the trees growing on the bridge.

The building’s roof holds a vegetated tray system in which trays of soil and green plants are set in a grid on roof sections which will absorb rainfall and decrease storm water runoff. The roof also uses materials that reflect sunlight and heat to reduce heat islands. Additional sustainable features include:

The building’s footprint is minimized to limit disturbance to native soils and plant specimens, and to maintain erosion control and native habitat for wildlife. The completed project will have bio swales and thicker vegetation to naturally filter water run off before it reaches the Fox River.

Special low-flow plumbing fixtures including higher efficiency faucets, no flow and/or composting toilets and waterless urinals will reduce water consumption by more than 30% over standard fixtures.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems have been designed to be 21% more energy efficient than industry standards require.

* Native and adaptive plant/landscape choices selected specifically to capitalize on ambient moisture and reduce the need for additional irrigation. Students were involved in discussions with landscape architects about vegetation on the site as well as the decision to use a local stone for the exterior of the building.

* Interior building materials contain no formaldehyde and low levels of volatile organic compounds, helping to ensure healthful indoor air quality.

Awards earned by the project team reinforce the University’s decision to pursue sustainable projects, according to The Boldt Company CEO Tom Boldt. “The leaders at Lawrence have taken a great step forward by embracing this level of sustainable design,” Boldt said. “The construction features in the building created one of the greenest campus centers in the nation and confirm the University’s desire to find the best possible green solution.”

The Boldt Company, headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, provides professional construction services to customers in a variety of industrial, institutional, healthcare, commercial and renewable energy markets nationwide. Boldt is among the top-ranked general contractors in the nation and has 13 offices throughout the United States. http://www.boldt.com.

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