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Macalester building receives highest LEED rating

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Markim Hall at Macalester College
Markim Hall at Macalester College has received the highest certification possible for green building construction and operation.
MPR Photo/Tim Post

A new building on the Macalester College campus in St. Paul has received the highest ranking available for green construction and operation. 

Markim Hall, which houses Macalester's Institute for Global Citizenship, has been given LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It's the first higher education building in the state to receive the top certification.

Macalester president Brian Rosenberg said the building serves as a model for sustainable buildings on college campuses. 

"It's almost as if the building is a living, working laboratory," he said. "When you go in and you look at it, it's a kind of model of how buildings will probably be built in the future, in its heating and cooling system, in its insulation system, and in its materials, everything in the building is recycled."

The building was built using recycled materials. It's heavily insulated for energy efficiency, and uses native plants for landscaping to save water. 

"Given the way it's built, given the program it houses, and given this attempt to connect Macalester to life beyond Macalester, we really want people to think of it as our way of connecting ourself with the community," Rosenberg said.

Markim Hall cost $7.7 million to build and was funded by donations. It opened in July, and a grand opening will be held Oct. 1. 

St. Olaf College in Northfield is currently waiting for LEED Platinum Certification for its new $63 million dollar math and science center.