Des Places Hall

Committed to Sustainability

The Des Places residence hall is being constructed according to Silver LEED certification standards.

During the  razing of the previous building on that site masonry rubble was loaded onto McCloskey Field, materials ground up and a high-powered magnet used to remove metals, which were then recycled. The remaining materials were crushed and used for backfill.

According to building designers WTW Architects, many sustainable technologies will be incorporated, from drought-tolerant landscaping to the use of locally manufactured materials. Estimates based upon construction standards show sustainable efforts will save at least 22 percent in energy use.

Des Places constructionWater fountains will have water bottle refilling stations and will show the amount of plastic water bottles saved by their use.

Some other environmentally friendly initiatives include:

  • Using regenerative drives on elevators, so that they generate electricity as they brake going down.
  • Installing a 5-kilowatt solar panel that will provide about 1 percent of the building's energy as well as a light-colored roof membrane to offset heat buildup.
  • Studying sun angles to determine the size of the overhang above the large south- and west-facing windows of the conference room as well as equipping the room with mechanical roller shades to control the amount of light and solar heat gained.
  • Energy-saving LED lights on Seitz Street and the building's exterior, and using occupancy sensors on interior lights.
  • Tinting windows according to how much light they are expected to receive, the darkest on the west side and lightest on the north side.
  • Operable windows to reduce year-round heating and cooling, and facilitate cost-effective cleaning.
  • Insulating exterior walls to R-31 with a 1-inch air space between exterior brick and the walls.
  • Installing carpet tiles with high recycled content that can be replaced as needed to extend the life of the flooring.
  • A special underlay made of recycled materials to reduce the sound on ceramic tile floors.
  • Acoustical ceiling tile with recycled content, which will reflect more light and reduce energy consumption.
  • A heat recovery unit in the mechanical room to temper outside air before heating and cooling.
  • Using low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings and carpeting, including bio-based vinyl tile in the bedrooms.

Integrating LEED Enhanced Commissioning started early in the design process and will continue through a 10-month occupancy assessment period. This process allows for issues to be discovered and corrected earlier, resulting in greater savings over the life of the project.