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Mather LifeWays CCRC earns LEED Gold certification


An extensive green roof covers part of The Mather’s south building. This roof, which requires minimal care, consists of indigenous species of mostly sedum plants and native grasses. It is among the sustainable features contributing to the building’s recent LEED Gold certification.

The Mather, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) located in Evanston, Illinois, has been awarded a LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] Gold rating by the US Green Building Council for its second phase of construction. It is the only CCRC in the United States to have achieved this designation, according to Evanston-based Mather LifeWays, which provides “programs, places and residences” for older adults.

The Mather development was designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz and built by Power Construction, both of Chicago. The development includes two buildings on one campus, the first of which opened in 2009. At 204,000 sq. ft., the residence is the largest newly constructed building in Evanston to achieve LEED Gold recognition, with site-specific elements that include:

• native and adaptive landscaping to reduce irrigation needs
• rain water for irrigation
• reflective roofing materials and a green roof to help reduce the urban “heat island” effect
• low-flow fixtures to reduce potable water consumption
• energy-efficient lighting
• self-powered exercise equipment to reduce electrical consumption in the fitness room and spa
• low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOC) for adhesives, sealants, painting, and coatings

“Sustainability was among our many goals for The Mather,” says Mary Leary, president and CEO of Mather LifeWays. “Achieving a LEED Gold rating means we’ve accomplished that and more—not only for The Mather residents, but also for the environment.”

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The Journal on Active Aging March/April 2013