School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Mazurek Education Commons earns LEED certification for being 'green'

Richard J. Mazurek, M.D.

Richard J. Mazurek, M.D.

Ron Spalding

Ron Spalding

The Richard J. Mazurek, M.D., Medical Education Commons, the new face of the Wayne State University School of Medicine, has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The building, opened in June 2009, was designed and constructed incorporating methods that allowed it to qualify for LEED certification. Requirements for buildings to be considered “green” include initiatives to conserve natural resources, reduce operating costs and improve employee productivity and satisfaction. Certification is achieved by meeting specific requirements in five environmental categories – site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

“Achieving LEED certification for the Mazurek Commons building completes the vision of what we set out to accomplish for the building,” said Ron Spalding, chief administrative officer of the Office of Medical Education, who oversaw the planning and construction of the building. “This certification is about good stewardship of the planet, and our building is about providing a state-of-the-science learning environment to train the physicians of tomorrow. You won’t have one without the other.”

Some of the characteristics incorporated into the Medical Education Commons, often referred to on campus as “The Mazurek,” that allowed it to be considered for LEED certification included the repurposing of the existing Shiffman Medical Library into new space; recycling materials from the demolition phase of the project; the installation of new high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; new energy-efficient windows installed in the older portions of the building; and the use of green cleaning products during custodial maintenance.

Earning LEED certification can be challenging. Standards set by the USGBC are rigorous and exacting. According to the USGBC, since 2000 only 9,075 buildings nationwide have achieved certification in the “new construction-major renovation” category.

Spalding said a plaque noting the certification will be placed in the Mazurek lobby next to the American Institute of Architects Award that the building won for urban design.

The $35 million building, which includes the updated library, is named for Richard J. Mazurek, M.D., a 1961 graduate of the School of Medicine. Dr. Mazurek, now deceased, was honored with a naming gift of $10.2 million by his longtime friend and business partner, Nick Labedz. The gift stands as the largest single donation to Wayne State University.
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