For Immediate Release
August 18, 2009
Contact: Daphne Larkin
Norwich University opens new residence hall to be LEED-certified
…Project completed $1 million under budget and three weeks ahead of schedule…
NORTHFIELD, Vt. (August 18, 2009) – Norwich University officials announced the opening of South Hall, a newly constructed residence hall anticipated to receive Gold-level LEED certification and completed $1 million under budget and opening three weeks ahead of schedule.
“We are very happy to complete the project under budget and ahead of schedule, but most important the new dorm will provide a beautiful home for 283 of our students,” said Dave Magida, Norwich University chief administrative officer. “With the design of the building and a wide variety of lounge and study spaces I believe that we’ve exceeded our students’ expectations.”
The $25.2 million project was funded through loans, and the cost savings are a result of a unique arrangement in which Norwich University served as construction manager.
“In this role we were able to negotiate contracts with reputable, experienced contractors and make them part of the design team. This helped to drastically reduce the number of change orders, and resulted in us running into very few problems during construction,” Magida said.
In addition to the efficiency of the actual construction, the building itself was designed according to standards that qualify it to be certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED, a “green” building rating system – developed and administered by the US Green Building Council, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders –promotes design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being.
The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction—Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum—that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five green design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.
“With the expectation that we will receive Gold LEED certification—our first at Norwich University—this building will serve as a benchmark for all future projects,” Magida said.
The major contractors were Vermont Mechanical; Bates & Murray (electrical); Ziter Masonry; Carrara & Sons (precast concrete); SD Ireland (concrete), and Dubois Construction (excavation).
Highlights of the new dorm:
· South Hall is the largest building on campus to date.
· One hundred percent of the building’s energy use will be offset by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits.
· The building contains recycled content, locally manufactured and low VOC materials and products.
· All bedroom windows will have sensors which shut off the heating system when windows have been left open.
· Efficient water use strategies throughout the building will reduce water usage by over 30 percent for a building of this size and type.