An interesting thing has happened with the generation of kids entering college today…they are the most eco-friendly generation of mankind to inhabit the earth since its formation. Their interest in living a “green” lifestyle extends from small-town America up to the movers and shakers of Wall Street. An enormous world market is now trying to meet the interests and demands for the 18-28 yr. old sector in this regard. One area which has actively embraced the demands of this market is in the college and university setting. Incoming college freshmen are searching for schools where sustainability is being used extensively in regard to construction of dorms, offices and classrooms, as well as other areas.
The US Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org) is an organization kept very busy in regard to helping these colleges and universities find ways to entice this tech-savvy “green” generation to their schools. This group is often approached to suggest ways to alter/incorporate eco-friendly products and facilities onto college campuses. One of the most recent examples of the use of this concept can be found at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC in regard to the construction of their newest dorm, South Residence Hall.
South Residence Hall At Wake Forest University
As with practically every college campus across America, Wake Forest has done the usual “greening” of its campus, such as more efficient washing machines, recycling centers in residence halls, etc.. But the school saw they should “put their money where their mouth was” in regard to a new dorm that was needed for an ever growing freshman class. With design of the the new 67,000-square-feet building being based on LEED-certification in mind, the school proceeded into a new era in its history. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is an internationally recognized certification system based on construction of eco-friendly buildings/practices. According to Donna McGalliard, the dean of residence life and housing,”The university’s philosophy has really been focused on sustainability. It’s not just a fad or a trend.”
Bell And Whistles In South Hall
Wake Forest decided to add lots of “bells and whistles in regard to South Residence Hall. It will have the following: GREEN FEATURES:
• SOLAR HOT WATER COLLECTION ARRAY: Panels on the roof contain liquid-filled tubes that are heated by the sun and sent to tanks in the attic. The stored hot water preheats tap water for showers and sinks, reducing the natural gas needed to produce hot water.
• CONSTRUCTION LANDFILL:Nearly 80 percent of waste generated during construction was diverted from the landfill, topping the goal of 50 percent.
• DUAL FLUSH TOILETS: Toilets that release different amounts of water, depending on the waste, were installed in each bathroom, reducing the amount of water sent to the treatment plant.
• LOCAL MATERIALS: More than 20 percent of the construction materials came from sources within 500 miles of Wake Forest. Those materials include limestone, brick and roof slate.
• LOW-FLOW SHOWER HEADS:Shower heads that use less hot water and conserve water were installed in each bathroom.
In addition to the above, the dorm will have the latest in green technology, ranging from energy-efficient appliances to flat-screen televisions that will continually show how much water and electricity is being consumed per floor of the 4-story dorm.
A World-Wide Movement
Colleges and universities world-wide are realizing the importance of using LEED-standards and general eco-friendly practices within all phases of their campuses. Incoming freshmen classes are expecting these types of practices and accountability within their lives, as well as within that of the college/university they select to attend. The colleges know these students will be the major contributors/donators within the next 25-50 years in regard to alumni giving. When looking at the big picture, it’s a win-win situation for students, colleges…but especially the earth.