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>  News Releases >   2008 >   December

Dartmouth’s Floren Varsity House wins environmental sustainability and architectural design awards

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 12/23/08 • Media Contact: Roland Adams • (603) 646-3661 

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Dartmouth’s Floren Varsity House has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for its environmental sustainability, winning the Leadership in Energy and Environmental  (LEED) 2.2 Silver Certification. The LEED Green Building Rating System, which works by awarding credits for meeting specified green building criteria, provides a nationally accepted set of standards for environmentally sustainable building design, construction, and operation.

In addition to winning LEED certification, the facility has recently been honored for its architecture.  Centerbrook Architects and Planners, LLP, the architectural firm that designed the building, has won the Design Award of Honor from the Society of American Registered Architects. Architect Chad Floyd said, “This award is significant because it singles Floren out from a nationwide rather than from a merely statewide or regional pool.  We’re pleased the jury rewarded a design that is intended to endure for the ages in both form and function. We’re very proud of this building and very appreciative of the great care that was invested in it by all those with whom we worked at Dartmouth.”

700 acres in Corinth, VT
Floren Varsity House was completed and dedicated in November, 2007 (photo courtesy Dartmouth Athletics)

The Floren Varsity House was completed in November 2007 and provides the College’s 900 varsity athletes with a 10,000-square-foot varsity strength training center, a 130-person “smart” classroom, meeting rooms, a football locker room and equipment facilities, and offices for baseball, football, softball and women’s lacrosse. Douglas C. Floren, Class of 1963, and his family made a $10 million gift to Dartmouth College to support the construction of the $19.5 million Varsity House and the renovation of Memorial Field’s East Stands.

The LEED certification for Floren Varsity House is the latest of a series of such certifications for Dartmouth buildings this year. Academic facilities Kemeny Hall and the Haldeman Center received Silver certification, while Gold LEED certifications were awarded to the McLaughlin Cluster of student residences as well as McLane and Fahey residence halls.

Mary Bourque, Project Manager in Dartmouth’s Office of Planning, Design and Construction, said LEED provides a good framework for making design and construction decisions, as well as supporting Dartmouth’s overall commitment to sustainability. “Many of the sustainable initiatives evaluated in the LEED rating systems have been standard practice for Dartmouth’s building criteria,” she said.  “Attaining a LEED-certified building was a goal from the beginning of the (Floren) project, but with attention to the design process and management of construction, Dartmouth was able to qualify for the Silver certification.  Features such as daylighting provide for a healthy environment for our student-athletes and staff.”

Dartmouth President James Wright and UVLT President Jeanie McIntyre.
The Crouthamel Lounge in Floren Varsity House (photo courtesy Dartmouth Athletics)

The Floren Varsity House has a white membrane roof that reduces energy consumption, while the building’s energy recovery unit captures and reuses heat from exhausted air. Its high-performance envelope includes zero ozone-depleting spray foam insulation and high quality windows. Ninety percent of Floren’s occupied spaces have daylight and views to the outdoors, and 42 percent of the building’s electricity is purchased from Mars Hill Wind, the largest wind power production facility in the state of Maine.

Construction efforts that aided in the silver rating were a construction waste-management plan that diverted construction debris from landfill disposal, as well as an indoor air-quality management plan that reduced air-quality problems for workers. In the renovation of Memorial Field’s East Stands that was carried out at the same time as construction of Floren Varsity House, nineteen tons of steel and 16 tons of aluminum were removed from the existing stands, stored and then reused for the Floren facility. The varsity house also earned LEED points for using regionally manufactured and recycled products and Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood.

Josie Harper, Director of Athletics and Recreation said, “The Floren Varsity House has been even more than we anticipated, both in style and functionality. It serves our present male and female student-athletes very well. It is certainly a visible sign of the College’s commitment not only to the environment, but also to our varsity programs and the students who participate in these programs now and in the future.”

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Written by Dartmouth Public Affairs staff member Elizabeth Kelsey.

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