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High Efficiency

Kemeny and Haldeman recognized for sustainability

Energy efficient? Check. Careful with water usage? Check. A high-quality indoor environment? Check. On the merits of these achievements and more, Kemeny Hall and the Haldeman Center buildings have achieved “LEED Silver” recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Completed and occupied in the fall of 2006, the buildings exemplify the College’s commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability.

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A view of a stairwell in Kemeny Hall. The environmentally friendly design of Kemeny Hall and the Haldeman Center buildings has earned a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. (Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System sets out a program of credits towards certification that are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. The ratings provide a widely accepted set of standards for environmentally sustainable building design, construction, and operation. “Achieving LEED Silver status for both Kemeny Hall and the Haldeman Center has been a stated goal since planning for these buildings began,” says Associate Provost Mary Gorman. In the design process, a number of sustainability goals came to the forefront. “Efficient use of water was one,” notes Matt Purcell, associate director of construction. “The systems and fixtures installed in Kemeny and Haldeman make it possible for the buildings to use water over 40 percent more efficiently than standard construction,” a level recognized as exemplary in the buildings’ LEED credits.

Much effort went into maximizing energy efficiency. For example, the buildings have a tight envelope, sealing them against unwanted air exchange. “It’s the same principle as in a home—you avoid losing energy by preventing drafts,” Purcell observes. The result of these design choices: a 30 percent increase in energy efficiency over standard construction. Both of those accomplishments feed into the LEED rating, but also highlight Dartmouth’s aspirations towards sustainability beyond them. “More than 50 percent of the electricity purchased for these buildings comes from certified green power,” Purcell says. Gorman points out that working for energy efficiency is a “good economic decision for the College” as well. “LEED certification is an important part of Dartmouth’s sustainability plans,” Gorman notes, “but the College has aims to reach beyond LEED in many areas. We have a long history of paying attention to energy efficiency, not just in new construction, but in remodeling and retrofitting existing buildings as well.”

From their terrazzo floors (which can be cleaned with green methods) to their low-emitting carpets, paints and other materials, to the buildings’ views of the outdoors and their use of day lighting, the look of the Kemeny Hall and the Haldeman Center buildings was shaped with sustainability in mind. “All these things contribute to making the buildings a pleasant place to work,” says Gorman. “And the buildings themselves offer the chance to learn about sustainability,” adds Purcell. Among the innovation credits awarded in the LEED certification was one for “green building education,” he reports. The College is preparing a case study about Dartmouth’s green building initiatives, as well as an educational Web site on the green building process and its benefits.

Kemeny Hall, named in honor of former Dartmouth President John G. Kemeny, houses the Department of Mathematics. Its construction was supported by a challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation, secured by gifts from nearly 2,000 alumni and friends of the College. The Haldeman Center building hosts the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, the Dartmouth Ethics Institute, and the Fannie and Alan Leslie Center for the Humanities. A gift from Chairman of the Board of Trustees Ed Haldeman ’70 and his wife Barbara named the Haldeman Center in honor of his parents Charles E. and Betty Jane Haldeman. The buildings were designed by Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners in association with Bruner Cott and Associates, and built by Daniel O’Connell’s Sons, construction managers and general contractors.

By KELLY SEAMAN

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Last Updated: 12/17/08