Earlham is committed to seeking LEED certification on new buildings and renovation projects. LEED is the US Green Building Council's rating system for sustainability in physical buildings, and is becoming standard practice for sustainable construction nation-wide. Read more about LEED certification here.
Earlham currently has four buildings that are LEED certified or in the process of becoming certified. Stanley Hall was renovated in 2012-13 and opened in 2013 and has been given a silver rating. The renovations of Tyler Hall that were also completed in 2013 yielded a basic LEED certification. The Center for Visual and Performing Arts that opened in fall 2014 has achieved a gold LEED certification and the new Center for Science and Technology that opened in fall 2015 also achieved a gold ranking.
One aspect of a sustainable construction project is its location and its connectivity with its surrounding community. Earlham's LEED certified buildings are within half a mile of a neighborhood with an average density of 10 units per acre net. The buildings are located within half a mile of at least 10 basic services, including a supermarket, restaurant, school, convenience stores, library, fitness center, park, place of worship, and funeral home. There is pedestrian access between the buildings and these services.
A sustainable construction project needs to have surrounding landscape that uses water efficiently. The landscaping installed does not require permanent irrigation systems. Temporary irrigation systems used for plant establishment will be removed within eighteen months of installation.
Earlham College has a landscape architect on staff that has always selected plants native or naturalized to the area to eliminate the need for irrigation. There are no irrigated areas, including landscaping, throughout the campus per the college's commitment to reduce resource use.
The ability to use water efficiently is an important factor of a sustainable building. The reduction of water use must be at least 30% in order for new construction and major renovations to earn points in the LEED scorecard. The renovated Stanley Hall uses 42% less water across all fixtures than the building used before renovation.
One aspect of sustainability is using energy efficiently. The charts below illustrate energy use performance in Stanley Hall in electricity, chilled water, and steam. Chilled water is used for cooling and steam is used for heating the building.
Reusing materials from the original building is a great way to save materials from ending up in the landfill. In order to earn points for the Building Reuse category LEED scorecard, a new construction or major renovation has to have at least 55% reused materials, maintaining existing walls, floor, and roof. Stanley Hall in fact uses 96.4% of materials from existing foundation structure, structural roof deck, and exterior walls (excluding windows).
Recycling construction waste is important in constructing and renovating buildings in a sustainable way. Construction waste from renovating Stanley was diverted from the landfill in significant amounts. The total construction waste was 789.78 tons yet 79.72% of it, which is 629.6 tons, was diverted from landfill and was recycled by multiple companies: Recycling Center, Inc, Big B Waste Services, Hayes Landfill, Recycle Logic Inc, Lighting Resources LLC, and Preferred Metals Corporation.
All sealants, paints, floors, and ceilings in Stanley Hall were carefully selected with a focus on reducing or eliminating Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the products permanently installed inside the building. VOCs contribute to the “new car” or “new building” smell that you might notice when entering a new car or building. However, VOCs are indoor air contaminants that are odorous and can be irritating and/or harmful to building occupants. By reducing VOCs, building occupants should all be able to breathe easier while inside.
Just because a building is efficient does not necessarily mean it’s a place people want to be. In Stanley Hall, lighting and thermal controls were provided throughout to allow building occupants adequate control of the light and temperature in their immediate surroundings. This contributes not only to a more comfortable learning environment for students and professors alike but also contributes to efficient operation of the building. Rather than a single control to turn on the lights or change the temperature in a large area of the building, adequate controls were designed and installed to allow smaller groups to adjust their environment. This eliminates lighting or heating areas of the building that aren’t being used, increasing the overall efficiency of Stanley Hall.
Stanley Hall receives recognition in innovation in design by using green cleaning method. Aramark, the college's housekeeping service, is committed to eco-friendly cleaning and has transitioned the college's cleaning systems to "Blue Cleaning", a new technology that uses deionized water to clean hard and soft surfaces across campus without any chemicals. This is a significant and measurable environmental peroformance stratergy not addressed in the LEED-NC v2009 Rating System.