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Lithuanian Hall Gets Prestigious Green

Building Award: A First for Detroit

Lithuanian Hall is the first building in Detroit to be certified by the LEED® Green Building Rating System for Core and Shell construction, the U.S. Green Building Council announced.

Southwest Housing Solutions revitalized Lithuanian Hall and owns and manages it. The historic building was built in the 1920s, and was abandoned and dilapidated before the $2.2 million renovation project, which was completed in 2006. It now serves as the main offices of Southwest Housing, in addition to providing prime commercial space along Vernor Highway in southwest Detroit.

LEED is the national benchmark for the design, construction, and operations of high-performance green buildings. Core and shell construction covers key building elements such as structure, envelope (foundation, roof, walls, doors and windows) and systems such heating, cooling and ventilation.

“The LEED award exemplifies the commitment of Southwest Housing Solutions to rehabilitate buildings and be sensitive to the environment within a tight budget and without sacrificing quality,” said Tim Thorland, executive director of Southwest Housing Solutions. 

LEED certification of Lithuanian Hall was based on a number of green design and construction features that enhance the building, the experience of those who work and visit there, and the interests of the broader community. These include:

  • Reuse of existing building stock
  • Regionally produced materials
  • Reuse of locally salvaged building materials
  • Urban development to help sustain the neighborhood
  • Preserving the historic character of the building
  • Natural lighting 
  • Enhanced thermal envelope
  • Efficient ventilation and cooling system
  • Radiant- heat flooring
  • White reflective roofing
  • Native landscaping

The radiant heat system alone has reduced energy consumption by more than 12%, according to Dan Pederson, senior director of business development at Southwest Housing. Factoring in the high ceilings and other design features, the savings is about 25%, Dan said.

Quinn Evans served as the architects for the project, and O’Brien Construction was the contractor.

“Building operations are nearly 40% of the solution to the global climate change challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president of U.S. Green Building Council, which established the LEED certification awards. “While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like Southwest Housing Solutions are addressing it through local solutions.” 

Model D wrote a story about the Lithuanian Hall LEED certification: Lithuanian Hall first in Detroit to achieve LEED rehab certification.

Steve Palackdharry
Communications Manager