Campus News

Living Green

University’s first sustainable residence hall will open this fall on East Campus

The university is continuing a solid push toward lasting sustainability practices with the construction of the first “green” residence hall on campus. When the new residence hall (Building 1516) opens on East Campus in the fall, non-first-year students will have a technologically advanced living space that incorporates eco-friendly programs into everyday life for a complete “Living Green” experience.

Current residents will be able to get a preview of a typical room in the new hall through Jan. 29, when a full-sized, furnished replica will be on display in the Brumby Hall rotunda.

“As part of University Housing’s commitment to provide more students with comfortable, affordable and secure housing options, we are excited to have a new residence hall that meets demands for housing, addresses the needs and interests of the new generation of environmentally conscientious students and supports their academic and personal growth,” said Gerry Kowalski, University Housing executive director. “The ‘Living Green’ philosophy will be the fundamental concept of the new hall.”

The university is implementing numerous green elements into the building of the new residence hall, seeking LEED certification once construction is completed. ­Promotion of community connectivity, physical activity and pollution reduction will help reinforce the Living Green practices of the new building.

Students will be within walking distance of East Campus amenities, such as the Ramsey Student Center for Physical Activities, Joe Frank Harris Dining Commons, the University Health Center and the Performing and the Visual Arts Complex. Interior bike storage, as well as easy access to residential parking and bus routes, will be provided to promote alternative modes of transportation.

Green technology features
Features that incorporate green technology include in-room temperature controls; high-efficiency sinks, showers and toilets that allow a significant savings per year in water; treated gray water recycled from sinks and showers for use in toilets; low-emitting volatile organic compounds in paint, carpet, coatings, sealants and adhesives that reduce contaminants affecting indoor air quality; and double-paned, low-energy windows that help rooms maintain constant temperatures.

Ten percent of the materials used to construct the residence hall are made of recycled content, and another 10 percent originated from within 500 miles of the construction site, reducing air pollutants created from transporting the materials great distances.

The exterior of the building features a cool roof and concrete sidewalks that reflect light and the use of drought-resistant landscaping and runoff water to replenish underground water sources.

The new residence hall will be the fourth building to compose the Reed Community and will be a signature space providing a home away from home for 555 students.

“Although it is near East Campus Village, the traditional-style rooms will be different from the apartment-style living offered in the neighboring community,” said Kowalski. “The rooms are set up much like the rooms in Reed Hall, with double and single rooms and private bath accommodations for each room. We invite students to take a look at the room mock-up in Brumby. I think they will be pleased with and excited about the room set-up.”

Undergraduate staff members known as resident assistants, or RAs, will support residents in programs and other initiatives to aid in personal growth and academic success, in addition to programs geared toward sustainability education.

The hall will feature nine-month academic contracts, carpeted rooms, loftable twin beds, laundry and kitchen facilities, high-speed Internet access and biometric hand readers for secure resident access.