The residence life experience is a critical component of learning and development for higher education students. Residence hall design offers unique opportunities to facilitate outside the classroom learning, particularly in the area of sustainability.
At Eckerd College , the design of the Iota Housing Complex was inspired by the subtropical Florida climate and the bike share program on campus. Open-air breezeways between the houses of the complex facilitate community building among student residents while also providing conveniently located, covered bike storage for residents and visitors. Opened in 2006, this LEED Certified project also includes energy display monitors in the entry lobbies which track energy consumption on a room-by-room basis. These displays inform students about their impacts and raise awareness of how their choices effect the environment.
At Emory University , energy display monitors have also been implemented in four new residence halls; plans for a fifth hall currently under construction include the same technology. The monitors track energy use in real time and can convert energy costs into more understandable units such as hamburgers or gallons of gasoline. In addition to energy tracking, the monitors also include information on other green design features in the residence halls. These features complement Emory’s residence life programming which teaches student residents about sustainability as one aspect of good citizenship. A recent survey of students living in the new residence halls demonstrates the results:
In the second and third phases of construction at Emory, the design took sustainability a step further by tracking water use in the halls in addition to energy use. In Few and Evans Halls, an integrated rainwater harvesting system saves approximately 700,000 gallons of potable water per year. The rainwater system is a visible and attractive part of the landscape surrounding the residence halls. Rather than flowing directly into below grade piping, rainwater from the roof and outdoor terraces is directed across the site in shallow, open, brick and concrete runnels, eventually spilling into a planted bio-swale which filters the rainwater before it percolates into a cistern below grade. Solar panels adjacent to a terrace pump the rainwater back into the building where it is further treated and dyed for use in flushing toilets in the building. From the moment it rains until students see blue water in the toilets, residents are aware of the life-cycle of water in and around their hall. Also included in Few Hall is a demonstration kitchen which hosts programs to teach students about healthy, local, and sustainable food. The purposeful integration of attractive, visible, sustainable features into residence halls raises student awareness of energy and water issues and supports education of the whole person.
LEED Certified/Registered Residence Halls
Iota Housing Complex , Eckerd College, LEED Certified
Turman Hall, Emory University, LEED Silver Certified
Few and Evans Halls, Emory University, LEED Gold Certified
Longstreet-Means Hall, Emory University LEED Gold certification in review
Alderman Road Residence Hall 1 and commons building, University of Virginia , LEED Silver certification registration
Alderman Road Residence Hall 2, University of Virginia, LEED Silver certification registration
Alderman Road Residence Hall 3, University of Virginia, LEED Silver certification registration
Alderman Road Residence Hall 4, University of Virginia, LEED Silver certification registration
Alderman Road Residence Hall 5, University of Virginia, LEED Silver certification registration
Jefferson Suites, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, LEED Silver certification in review
Clerc Hall, Gallaudet University, LEED Silver certification registration