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LEED® Gold for Historic Urbana Readiness Center

Leed Gold


The Illinois National Guard Readiness Center in Urbana, Illinois has been awarded LEED® Gold established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

“The Guard asked us to take an historic 83,000sf cast-in-place concrete armory and develop it from Schematic Design to Bidding in 8 months. It was a challenge we just couldn’t pass up,” stated Ellen Bailey Dickson, Managing Principal at Bailey Edward the architectural firm leading the project. In addition to schedule challenges, the 1938 building had been deemed ‘eligible’ for the National Register of Historic Places, requiring careful planning by the architects to maintain the building’s character defining features while enhancing force protection and modernizing the facility’s outdated infrastructure. Now complete and designated LEED Gold, Bailey Edward’s work at the Urbana Readiness Center is a template for the renovation of military facilities nationwide. The successful modernization of this historic facility demonstrates that the renovation of existing facilities can effectively and affordably meet today’s functional and environmental needs while preserving the character which makes these buildings community keepsakes.

Bailey Edward achieved LEED Gold certification for the Urbana Readiness Center through innovative design strategies that reduced energy consumption, lighting demand, water use and material use while incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

“The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most-important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The work of innovative building projects such as the Illinois National Guard Readiness Center in Urbana, Illinois is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”

LEED Gold certification was based on a number of green design and construction features that Bailey Edward incorporated into the project which positively impacted the project as well as the broader community. These features include:

- Capitalizing on the existing nearby public bus stop and existing bicycle infrastructure
- Creating a bioswale for natural filtration of the stormwater coming off of the enlarged military parking lot
- Maintaining the original building footprint by strategically infilling the Assembly Hall and building on top of an existing single-story portion of the building
- Offsetting water needs through the use of low-flow urinals, lavatory faucets and showerheads, as well as dual flush toilets
- Removing the need for permanent irrigation by using native and drought tolerant plantings
- Improving the thermal performance of the exterior walls ultimately tripling the R-value
- Removing and replacing roofing and insulation doubling the R-value of the roof
- Using energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures
- Installing a water source variable refrigerant flow system for heating and cooling
- Specifying new materials made from recycled content and regionally manufactured
- Diverting 81% of construction waste from landfills through recycling
- Managing air quality with the use of low VOC materials and a carbon dioxide monitoring system


Bailey Edward, an award-winning, woman-owned architecture, engineering and interior design firm has served the building community nationwide for 22 years. With a focus on responsive, creative solutions for their clients, Bailey Edward is known for their attentive client service and results driven project management. For more information about this project and how Bailey Edward is making an impact today, visit

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. For more information, visit