Wellness center wins gold

Wellness center wins gold

The Pokagon Wellness Center. Courtesy Pokagon Band of Potawatomi

A West Michigan tribe’s wellness center has been certified for its efforts in sustainability.

The Pokagon Wellness Center in Dowagiac, at 58620 Sink Rd., by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi was recently awarded a LEED Gold certification.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED rating system recognizes buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated to improve environmental and human health.

Pokagon Health Services Director Matt Clay said the three-year-old facility was designed and constructed to have “the least impact on Mother Earth and achieve LEED Gold certification.”

“Taking the holistic approach to minimizing the impact on Mother Earth, improves the physical and mental health of our children now and in the future,” Clay said.

Pokagon Wellness Center

The 35,000-square-foot Pokagon Wellness Center was built in 2014 with a focus on ensuring the building has minimal impact on the environment.

Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering, an entity of the Pokagon Band’s investment enterprise, served as the $12-million project’s architect, civil engineer and interior designer.

“We work with a singular dedication to environmental stewardship,” said Jeremy Berg, managing director, Seven Generations A+E. “Aside from the very important cultural design aspects of the building, we make sure what we are designing is sustainable and we are saving Mother Earth for the next seven generations, one of the driving concepts of the Pokagon culture.”

The wellness center uses sustainable materials sourced within 500 miles and features an energy-efficient HVAC design using geothermal wells. Additionally, LED lighting, water-saving plumbing fixtures, drought-resistant landscaping, a partial green roof and an efficient building-management program help the center reduce its environmental footprint.

The center houses various elements: medical clinic; dental suite; pharmacy; traditional healing area; behavioral health; physical therapy and health education rooms; and a fitness center for members.

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