Eckerd College, FL Sustainable Residence Halls

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Eckerd College, FL, US

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Type: Policy

Status: In effect

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Building a Sustainable Community
With the construction of the Iota Residential Complex, Eckerd College celebrates its environmental core value. Founded on sand and sandspurs, Eckerd College today nurtures a lush landscape and rich ecosystem providing a living laboratory for teaching and research and an inviting natural setting for residents and recreation.

Incorporating many of the construction industry's best practices for environmental sustainability, Eckerd College is seeking LEED's certification of the Iota Residential Complex through the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction program (LEED-NC). The LEED-NC program is a voluntary standard that defines high-performance green buildings - which are healthier, more environmentally responsible, and less costly to operate. The LEED standards provide a rating system to benchmark a building's design and construction across six categories.

Sustainable Sites
Making decisions about the building site to help reduce the building's impact.

Situated gracefully in balance at the intersection of the academic and residential neighborhoods, the Iota Residential Complex is located near day-to-day amenities on campus, reducing students' desires to drive for basic needs such as the post office, laundry, and dining. Iota also features covered bicycle storage racks to encourage the use of alternative transportation methods.The site itself is designed to reduce the impact of storm water runoff on surrounding waterways. Iota's exterior lighting minimizes nighttime light pollution.

Water Efficiency
Making design decisions to minimize the impact of the building on water resources.

Reducing the thirst for irrigation during Florida's natural dry season, landscaping around Iota features native plantings. Irrigation that is required is provided by a reclaimed water system, thus eliminating the demand for local water resources.

Energy & Atmosphere
Making design decisions to maximize energy efficiency and minimize the building's impact on the atmosphere.

Students are greeted in their lobbies with monitors noting their energy consumption.These monitors are used to increase awareness about energy consumption and to encourage students to find ways to use energy more efficiently. Air conditioning systems in the buildings were selected with refrigerants that minimize their impact on the atmosphere.The building was designed with structural supports so that a rooftop solar hot water system could be added in the future.

Materials & Resources
Making design and construction decisions to minimize the impact of waste that is generated and hauled to landfills.

Iota provides residents space where they may collect and store recyclable materials to help enhance recycling efforts on campus. During construction, over 50% of the construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled. Materials were selected so that over 20% of the building materials were extracted, processed, and manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the campus.

Indoor Environmental Quality
Making design and construction decisions to establish minimum indoor air quality (IAQ) performance and to prevent the development of indoor air quality problems in buildings, thus contributing to the comfort and well-being of the occupants.

Like all other Eckerd College residence halls, Iota is a smoke-free residential complex. Iota provides fresh air ventilation rates above code required minimums. Paints and other materials were selected to reduce the amount of volatile organic chemicals and other indoor allergens and indoor pollutants in the building. Residents have the ability to control temperature and lighting levels in their individual rooms; natural daylight is ample.

Innovation in Design
In addition to LEED-NC certification, Eckerd College is applying for recognition of several innovative programs beyond the LEED-NC criteria.

Innovative programs include the Yellow Community Bikes Program, the Campus Green Cleaning Program, the incorporation of a facilities' preventive maintenance plan in the design and construction plans of the building, and the showcasing of Iota as a teaching tool and demonstration project.

Iota's Features

  • Built on the ethos of Eckerd
  • One residential complex of four houses
  • 52 double-bed rooms
  • 41 single-bed rooms
  • Two houses have kitchenettes
  • Two houses have indoor laundry facilities
  • Each house has two lounges or living rooms
  • Three houses have Tokonoma Rooms for meditation and contemplation
  • A new recycling program
  • An energy management system
  • Porches and courtyards celebrate open space
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