After the completion of a $25 million renovation project,
students with classes at the Samuel T. Dana Building will now sit
on plastic bottles, walk atop tires and do lab work on sunflower
The Dana Building’s rededication Friday coincided with the 100th
anniversary of the School of Natural Resources and Environment.
The “greening” of the building took into consideration energy
conservation and efficiency, the increased use of recyclable,
renewable and reused materials and improved sustainability. The
improvement of indoor air quality and water conservation also
factored into the building’s new features.
“Everything in here was designed to reduce water and energy
consumption and be more environmentally friendly,” said SNRE Dean
Recycling the materials left from demolition was another goal of
the “greening” project.
Instead of sending the removedparts to the landfill, designers
incorporated old brick into the exterior and used the wood in the
former attic as decorative trim.
Other innovative components include the recycled pop bottles
used in the upholstery of all office furniture, ground-up tire
rubber in the corridor floors, and the sunflower seed hulls, soy
flour and waste newspaper compressed into the countertops.
“This is the first green building on campus,” Bierbaum said. “It
is a wonderful improvement to our school.”
State Rep. Chris Kolb, an SNRE alum, said the new facility will
be a model for future “green” projects.
“It is important to be able to see a sustainable building and
use it as an example for the government and other education
institutions,” said Kolb (D-Ann Arbor). “It’s nothing like it used
to be, and it looks great.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday to celebrate this
milestone, accompanied by a series of panel discussions, lectures
and open-house tours of the renovated building. “This is the
pinnacle event celebrating these three events but also bringing
together students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and donors,”
said Marnie Reid, development and alumni relations officer of
The longevity of the school can be attributed to its
“It’s really amazing how much the school has changed. It used to
be all about forestry and is now much more interdisciplinary,” said
LSA senior Burke Greer, undergraduate president of SNRE student
government. “As the science is expanding, the business and politics
of it is becoming more important.”
Other centennial activities included a symposium on preserving
the Great Lakes, one of the four themes of the school, and a panel
discussion titled “Environmental Issues in the 21st Century.”