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Residence Halls Get Gold Ratings for Energy Savings

U.S. Green Building Council recognizes College’s new residence halls

Two of Dartmouth’s recently completed residence halls have been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for their environmental sustainability, winning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certifications. The gold certifications come on the heels of silver certifications from LEED awarded to two newly built academic facilities on campus.

Fahey and Mclane residence halls
Dartmouth’s Fahey/McLane residence halls, opened in 2006, were designed for energy efficiency. (Photo by Joseph Mehling ´69)

The residence halls, McLane and Fahey, located on the Tuck Mall, were completed in fall 2006 and together house 162 students. Both buildings echo Dartmouth’s traditional Georgian architecture with their brick exteriors, white trim, and copper roofs, but inside, they rely on cutting-edge energy-saving technologies and strategies to run more greenly and efficiently. Their design takes advantage of natural light and careful use of space to create an enjoyable, livable environment for the residents.

Matt Purcell, associate director of construction for the Office of Planning Design & Construction, explains that the buildings’ energy-saving features include a heat-recovery drain system that uses copper tubing to recover heat from wastewater to cheaply heat clean water, heat-recovery wheels to recapture heat from the ventilation system, and rain gardens to capture storm water on site and return it to the aquifer.

Other standout examples of the buildings’ energy efficiency are the geothermal wells. The 1,500-foot deep wells use the earth as both a heat source in the cold months and a heat-sink to cool the buildings in the summer. These technologies, combined with a highly efficient building envelope (exterior) designed to prevent energy from escaping, resulted in gold LEED certifications for both buildings.

The LEED Green Building Rating System, which awards credits for meeting specified green building criteria, provide a widely accepted set of standards for environmentally sustainable building design, construction, and operation. “We’re very pleased to receive these gold certifications, which reflect a larger, campus-wide effort to reduce energy use and make the College more sustainable,” says Associate Provost Mary Gorman. Those efforts include looking at what can be done to improve energy efficiency in all the buildings on Dartmouth’s campus, some of which were built more than a century ago.

Earlier this year, recently completed academic facilities Kemeny Hall and Haldeman Center received silver LEED certifications. Kemeny and Haldeman feature many of the same energy-saving techniques employed by Fahey and McLane.


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Last Updated: 12/17/08