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U's Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building Awarded LEED Gold Certification

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Bob Nelson
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The Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building on the University of Utah campus has just received the Gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. That certification mandates the entire building project including the finished product be environmentally responsible, designed to be energy efficient, improve air and water quality while reducing waste. Ted McAleer is the executive director of U-Star, the Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative. He says the building’s design features are helping to fulfill the long-term goal of attracting the country’s best researchers to Utah.  

“We’ve created the Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building as this catalyst facility to recruit these people from around the country and join us in our Utah journey,” says McAleer.

He says its unique design allows many of the labs in the building to be filled with natural light during the extremes of Utah winters and summers.

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Credit Bob Nelson
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Wasatch Drive view of the Sorenson Biotechnology Building at the University of Utah.

“The architects spent a lot of time thinking about the alignment of the building such that it would make the optimum use of the natural light," McAleer says.

The 208,000 square-foot building was funded through a $100-million dollar commitment through the state’s USTAR Initiative, $30-million dollars in local government and private funds including $15 million dollars from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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