If there was a race to be the first tower in Miami to win the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED seal of approval, it appears the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Clinical Research Building (now that’s a mouthful) is the winner. It may in fact be the first in South Florida, according to George Valcarcel, project manager for Perkins + Will, the building’s designers.
Though a number of high-rises here have been pre-certified based on building plans, many if not most have not gotten off the ground. Unusually, UM applied for LEED certification after the CRB was well into construction, when those involved realized the building qualified. The building was finished in 2006, but LEED certification was just awarded last month. Expect a flood of others if banks start lending to developers again. UM and Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Campus have announced other LEED projects as well.
The CRB scored for energy efficiency and water conservation features, including an anti-heat-island effect roof, as well as use of recycled materials, among other green-building techniques.
The building is also, if this amateur can venture an opinion, an elegant addition to a UM/Jackson campus whose buildings have for the most part been anything but. Do I imagine an echo of Mies’ famous Chicago towers in the Chicago-based Perkins + Will’s design for Miami? If so, Less is More turns out to be a surprisingly good fit for a place that prizes over-the-top design.
Clarification: This post previously said LEED did not exist when the CRB was planned. That was incorrect, a result of my misunderstanding. Valcarcel notes LEED was in place, just not on anyone’s radar screen yet locally. Also, a further thought: Spillis Candela’s classic raw-concrete building for Jackson’s Mailman center is an obvious exception to my comment above.