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DATE: June 7, 2005

Environmental Interpretive Center to host forum on green buildings

DEARBORN---The University of Michigan-Dearborn, in conjunction with the Friends of the Detroit River, will host a free forum on "Green Buildings" from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 16 at the campus's Environmental Interpretive Center (EIC).

The forum, which is free and open to the public, will take a look at several issues, including the role of green homes and commercial buildings in a world of rapidly increasing energy costs; Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings and their costs versus savings; and the building of a LEED-certified visitor center at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, a Wayne County and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service project.

UM-Dearborn biology and environmental science Prof. Orin Gelderloos, director of the campus's EIC, and his staff will welcome participants and provide an orientation to the environmental features of the EIC building from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Paul Goldsmith, chairman of the Detroit regional chapter of the U.S Green Building Council, will lead a presentation on "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-Building for the 21st Century" from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A question and answer session, moderated by John Hartig, manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, will follow the presentation.

The Green Buildings Forum is sponsored by National City Mortgage Co., the Wayne County Parks and Recreation Department and the Detroit Audubon Society. The forum was planned by the Friends of the Detroit River, the Detroit regional chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and UM-Dearborn.

The Friends of the Detroit River was inspired to initiate this forum following a visit to the Philip Merrill Center on Chesapeake Bay. It is the only building in America to achieve a LEED platinum rating.

The Green Buildings Forum is the first of several forums to be planned and presented by the hosts and sponsors.

Admission is free but an RSVP is requested by June 15 to Don A. Griffin, advisor to the Friends of the Detroit River Board, at (313) 274-8930 or by e-mail at donagriffin@wowway.com.

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