Living and Learning Center Residence Hall, Lee Campus
The new student housing at Edison State College is registered under the LEED for Homes Midrise Rating System and is pursuing LEED Silver certification. The development has been designed to have a minimal impact on the environment in terms of site issues, overall energy usage, and water usage. The design for this project also aims to positively influence the social, spiritual, educational, and physical needs of the students.
The site is in close proximity to a wide variety of community services, and the development will be a positive impact to the surrounding community. The site is in close walking distance of multiple LeeTran bus stops serving multiple transit lines, so students will not need to use their cars when traveling further than campus. A comprehensive stormwater management plan will reduce the volume of stormwater runoff from the site, and the heat island effect will be mitigated through the use of high albedo roofing and shading from trees. Secure bicycle storage will be provided, and the use of low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles will be encouraged and supported through preferred parking. The site location and sustainable site design strategies allow the project to achieve a number of credits through the LEED for Homes Location and Linkage and Sustainable Sites categories.
Energy Efficiency and Materials
The building will be energy efficient; this will give the building a reduced carbon footprint as well as lower electricity bills. The durable building envelope incorporates energy-saving strategies such as well-placed exterior shading, an optimized percentage of highly efficient glazing, and a high albedo roof. Efficient mechanical systems and lighting will further reduce the building’s energy consumption. Per LEED requirements under the Energy and Atmosphere category, an energy simulation model has been created for the building; this model predicts that the building will outperform a baseline model per the stringent ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 by at least 16%.
In order to reduce the energy consumed leading up to the construction of the building, the materials and products used in the project will have a low embodied energy. Materials and products will come from manufacturing and extraction sites that are in close proximity to the project site, and many materials and products will also have a high recycled content. The high percentage of regional materials, materials with recycled content, and low-emitting materials will allow the project to earn the maximum number of points under the Environmentally Preferable Products credit in the LEED Materials and Resources category. During construction, at least 60% of construction waste will be diverted from the landfill to be recycled or reused, and after construction, recycling will be encouraged and supported by well-located recycling stations and educational signage.
Wherever possible, the use of potable water will be kept to a minimum. In order to minimize irrigation demand, all vegetation will be native or adapted to the area and irrigation equipment will be highly efficient. All plumbing fixtures will be highly efficient in order to reduce indoor water usage, and other water-consuming fixtures such as washing machines will also be efficient. Sustainable landscape and irrigation design will allow the team to earn LEED credits within the Sustainable Sites and Water Efficiency categories, and the highly efficient plumbing fixtures earn credits within the Water Efficiency category.
Encouraging Social, Spiritual, and Educational Growth
While design alone cannot create community, it can support community. The proposed design includes a large area of structured outdoor space which the housing wraps around. This courtyard will include green space and trees for shade, pedestrian-oriented hardscape, and outdoor furniture that will encourage student interaction and social gatherings. An exterior space close to the building entry will include additional landscaping, a volleyball court, and a basketball court. These exterior spaces will support fun and vibrant social gatherings, but they will also support times of quiet and peaceful reflection. Educational growth will be encouraged as well; in addition to the exterior courtyard and study spaces in each bedroom, students will have access to fourteen study rooms throughout the building. While these design strategies are not specifically addressed in the LEED Rating System, they promote a more sustainable living environment for the students.
Physical Health and Well-Being
The new student housing development will support the students’ health in a number of ways. The close access to secure, outdoor space will do much to support the health of the students living in the development. The building envelope design is optimized for bringing in daylight to residential units and community gathering spaces, and visual connectivity to the outdoors will also support the students’ well-being. All materials and products installed on the interior of the building envelope will be low-emitting, and the construction team will use construction practices that will support a healthy indoor air quality for the building’s occupants. Increased ventilation and high efficiency MERV filters will also contribute toward a healthy indoor air quality for the students. Fitness will be encouraged through an indoor fitness center and the exterior volleyball and basketball courts. The design strategies that create a healthy indoor air quality for the buildings’ occupants earn LEED credits under the Materials and Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality categories.