The Mather receives LEED gold certification

Olga Gonzalez Latapi, Reporter

The Mather retirement community building recently received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which establishes criteria for the construction of sustainable buildings.

Joe Zajdel, vice president of business development for The Mather, 425 Davis St., said the building directors have been eyeing this certification since the building’s construction in 2009.

“We undertake responsible, sustainable designs that has a minimum environmental impact for the well-being of Evanston residents as well as the residents of Mather,” Zajdel said.

Some of the sustainable measures taken when the building was constructed included recycling demolition materials, using recycled materials, implementing energy mechanical systems, using rain water irrigation and installing a green roof created with plants and native grasses.

Zajdel said Evanston is a great city for sustainability and The Mather is highly reputable for the environmentally friendly details incorporated in the building.

LEED can give buildings four types of certification: certified, silver, gold and platinum.

To receive any of the certifications, buildings and neighborhoods must first apply. The ensuing four-part assessment process includes determining the building certification, registering the project or building and the eventual application review by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The certification depends on the amount of points the project or building receives.

The Mather joins a long list of Evanston buildings currently certified by LEED. The Jewish Recon Congregation, 303 Dodge Ave., has platinum certification, the highest LEED level.

Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music Performance and Education Center, 70 Arts Green Circle, and Ford Center, 2133 Sheridan Road, hold LEED Silver certifications.

Catherine Hurley, the city’s sustainable programs coordinator, said the LEED-certified buildings are important for residents because the buildings give the city a good image.

“Having these buildings here helps promote Evanston being a green city and being a place where you can come and have facilities that are doing a good job of balancing with nature and the needs of people,” she said.

Although the LEED Gold certification is a high honor for The Mather, the building directors said they are still brainstorming ways to make the building even more sustainable.