By Grace Beck, student writer
The sight of a treeless construction zone doesn’t resonate well with environmentalists, but the Eli Broad College of Business took extra steps when planning and designing its Business Pavilion to preserve Michigan State University’s precious campus.
The Pavilion design team met with Deb Kinney, landscape architect with MSU’s Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF), and other landscape and sustainability experts to ensure construction operations would have as minimal a disruption to the Red Cedar River watershed and the greenery as possible.
An employee at MSU for 30 years, Kinney has a special place in her heart for maintaining and preserving the trees and landscape of the university’s historic campus. “On one hand I am preserving and protecting and on the other hand I’m designing and innovating,” she said.
Because of its location on campus, Kinney and her team took a tremendous amount of time to consider the grounds surrounding the site of the Pavilion, and how the Pavilion itself could thrive as a sustainable building.
While trees needed to be removed from the construction site, Broad found a way to repurpose them in a special way for the community. The college partnered with the MSU Shadows Program, which salvages trees that have been removed from campus from storm damage or construction to repurpose the trees, to create commemorative coasters for attendees of the groundbreaking ceremony.
“Trees are really special to the staff and faculty, when they do have to go down, our staff takes them down. Now that we have the new MSU Shadows Program, wood can be repurposed, taking special care for those coasters it helps things go full circle, knowing those trees were used for a special cause,” states Kinney.
Allowing friends of the Broad College to take part of campus home with them, these coasters represent the importance of sustainability and MSU’s renowned campus to the Broad College and university.
View the Pavilion monthly video for Kinney’s full interview: