UW-Green Bay building is Wisconsin’s top ‘green’ building of 2001

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall
Mary Ann Cofrin Hall opened in 2001

GREEN BAY — Mary Ann Cofrin Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has been named the top “green” building in Wisconsin for 2001 by the Milwaukee business publication, “The Daily Reporter.”

The UW-Green Bay building, selected for its environmentally responsible design, was designated one of the “top 20” building projects in the state last year, in company with projects such as the restoration of the state capitol and the widely praised addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum. The new Brown County Jail and Juvenile Detention Center is on the list for design that blends into the community-a “good neighbor.”

“We chose winners based on how well the buildings met the challenge of accomplishing their goals,” said “Daily Reporter” editor Candace Doyle.

The goal for Mary Ann Cofrin Hall was to use the sun’s energy for lighting, warmth, and even to generate electricity.

A feature on the building appears in the April issue of “Wisconsin Builder,” a monthly supplement to “The Daily Reporter.” The article, “Basking in the Glow,” describes how the building was designed to make maximum use of natural lighting in classrooms, offices, corridors, and public spaces, and how Wisconsin Public Service collaborated with the University and state of Wisconsin in a demonstration project to generate electricity from the sun’s energy striking solar electric, or photovoltaic, material on some of the building’s roofing and glass.

“It’s noteworthy,” said John Oates, vice president of Somerville, Inc., Green Bay, of the recognition. He was the lead architect on Mary Ann Cofrin Hall. HOK, Inc., St. Louis, was the associate architectural firm.

Oates told “Wisconsin Builder” that even a decorative window with an etched symbol of the University’s phoenix mascot serves to reinforce the building’s theme. As the sun moves across the sky, the shadow of the phoenix is projected onto the building and grounds, serving as a kind of sundial. “It gives the impression that this is a solar building,” Oates said.

“The Daily Reporter” issues an annual call for nominations to architects, engineers, contractors and others in the building industry. One hundred entries were submitted for 2001.

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, which opened in September 2001, is the University’s newest and largest classroom building. Its goal is to achieve one-half of the energy cost of a comparable building designed to meet Wisconsin energy codes. The building makes use of a number of environmentally responsible strategies, including recycled and recyclable materials.

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