September 9, 2014

Providing a Green Solution For Higher Education

Through more than 110 years of successful operation in the construction industry, Morton Buildings has been no stranger to environmentally friendly innovations.

A 1971 breakthrough brought Morton’s Energy Performer insulation system, a revolutionary concept that exceeded energy conservation mandates introduced more than two decades later. More recently, Morton began a partnership with ENERGY STAR® in 2008 and ultimately constructed the first ENERGY STAR®-qualified building in the industry just one year later.

With its proven track record for energy efficiency, Morton was chosen to partner with Lake Land College in Mattoon, Ill. for LLC’s ZEB Hall. The academic structure opened in 2013 and was appropriately named due its status as a Zero Energy Building, created to produce as much energy as it uses over the course of a year.

“The building was designed to be LEED-certified with the intent it would be a Net Zero Energy Building,” LLC Vice President of Business Services/CFO Ray Rieck explained.

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

Two 30’ x 11’ x 54’ structures with timber columns – utilizing Morton’s hallmark clear-span construction -- make up the building that was put together by a Mattoon-based Morton construction crew. Brick and stone panels cover the front of the structure, while Morton’s ivory Hi-Rib steel and wainscot enclose the back. A gable entry porch protects the entrance to the building. A 4/12 hipped roof pitch features 36-inch overhangs and is covered by tan Hi-Rib steel and three self-flashing skylights.

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Morton’s construction also provided a unique opportunity for nine LLC construction technology students. The group received hands-on training from Morton’s crew throughout the building process.

“Morton Buildings was very gracious allowing part of the construction to be completed by our students enrolled in a construction occupation course here at the college,” Rieck said. “The students worked under direct supervision of Morton Buildings’ staff and it was a true hands-on learning experience for them.”

ZEB Hall, constructed as part of LLC’s multi-year plan to create a greener education and environment, features a live laboratory and houses LLC’s human resources and communications and creative services departments.

“Lake Land College is extremely grateful for Morton Buildings allowing this opportunity for our faculty and staff,” Rieck added.

Morton Buildings, the nation’s leader in post-frame construction with more than 100 construction centers in 38 states, builds thousands of buildings in all shapes, styles and uses each year.

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