Des Moines University

Des Moines University is constructing four new buildings totaling approximately 450,000 square feet in West Des Moines, Iowa as part of its campus for health sciences education, set to open Fall 2023 for the university’s 125th anniversary. Built into an old glacier known as “the edge of advancement” by geologists, the university has committed through the life of the project to being “mindful of making respectful use of this property and to build with the highest standards of sustainability and ecological responsibility.”

At a Glance

RDG Planning & Design
West Des Moines, IA
450,000 SF
Des Moines University (Owner) Turner Construction (General Contractor) RDG Planning & Design (Architect)
WELL v2 Gold (targeting)LEED NC Group v4 Silver (targeting)
  • Commissioning
  • LEED Consulting
  • WELL Consulting

The Challenge

Stok was engaged by RDG Planning and Design to guide the project, which consists of classroom, administrative, lab, cafeteria, and recreation spaces, as well as parking, to outstanding sustainable performance. Specifically, Stok is: 

  • Leading the project’s LEED and WELL pursuit at the strategic and technical level
  • Ensuring building performance aligns with design via commissioning
“The Stok team is communicative, flexible, deeply knowledgeable, and above all fun to work with. Their multidisciplinary approach has helped guide our project to sustainable performance in innovative ways, resulting in a campus that celebrates ecological restoration and human well-being.”

By the Numbers

Annual energy cost savings
Energy reduction below baseline
Water reduction below baseline
Water saved annually
Construction waste diverted

The Solution


Stok is the LEED and WELL consultant, supporting the university in achieving LEED NC Group v4 Silver and WELL Gold certification. Among many strategies targeting improved energy performance across the buildings is an innovative heating and cooling system. The campus has invested in a 700-well district geo-exchange heating and cooling system to bring total campus energy use to 48% better than baseline, setting this campus well ahead of its peers across the nation. 


As commissioning authority, Stok is ensuring the four new university buildings comply with International Building, Mechanical, Electrical, Fuel, Gas, and Fire Codes, as well as National Electrical Code, Uniform Plumbing Code, Energy Conservation Code, and LEED and local building code requirements for commissioning. 

Learn more about how this project is paving the way for a new standard in sustainable higher education spaces while creating a talent hotspot from Des Moines University and Building Design + Construction. 

Images Credit: RDG Planning & Design

Project Leadership

Jeremy Attema
Michael Hummel
Celine Hayoz
Commissioning | LEED
Tatiana Gefter
LEED | WELL | Materials