Powerhouse Project Receives Significant LEED Silver Accreditation

The one-of-a-kind Powerhouse project recently earned a prestigious LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. LEED certified buildings save money, improve efficiency, and lower carbon emissions, while creating a healthier environment and more sustainable future.

Powerhouse LEED Silver CertificationThe Powerhouse, a 132,000-sq-ft river front student union and community-oriented recreation center was renovated by Corporate Contractors Inc (CCI) and completed in 2020. The award-winning adaptive-reuse project included a complete overhaul of a former coal-powered Blackhawk Generating Station as well as the addition of a new field house while preserving historical architectural and industrial elements and adding sustainable features. The facility includes theater, classroom, a café, and meeting spaces as well as a suspended running track, an 8-lane competition swimming pool, and several other areas to gather, work out, and study.

LEED Silver Certification was achieved by implementing measurable strategies and solutions to achieve high performance marks in the following categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation, and regional priority.

Specific LEED strategy initiatives for the Powerhouse included:

  • Existing walls, floors and roof were maintained, and low-emitting paints, sealants, and flooring systems were utilized
  • High-performance insulation was installed into the historic portions of the building
  • An innovative radiant panel and slab system was integrated into the building’s surfaces to harness energy from the adjacent Rock River to power the building’s heating and cooling
  • An energy-efficient outdoor-air system promotes high air quality and comfort
  • A polycarbonate façade around the fieldhouse allows diffused light into the space while providing advanced thermal insulation

“We are thrilled the Powerhouse received LEED Silver accreditation,” stated Brad Austin, CCI President. The entire build team rallied to overcome numerous challenges resourcefully and safely. This truly is an outstanding and unforgettable project that we’ll be proud of for many years to come.”