College Dorm Exceeds LEED Platinum

We’ve covered a lot of green schools here at EarthTechling, and a whole lot of LEED certified green dorms–but Western Oregon University can now claim a first in this area, as its Ackerman Hall was recently recognized with Platinum certification, making it the first large-scale residence hall in the nation to gain this distinction.

Green features of Ackerman Hall include:  a rainwater harvesting system that collects rainwater used for flushing toilets, solar panels and heat ducts that heat air and water, occupancy sensors throughout the building that shut off lights when rooms are unoccupied, low flow water devices in all restrooms, repurposed wood throughout the building that was taken from trees that were removed from the building site at the outset of construction, and an outdoor courtyard surface covered with recycled glass pavers that allow water to be absorbed into the soil.

Ackerman Residence Hall

image via Western Oregon University

All told, the building used only 25 percent of the water required by a comparable residence hall of the same size, as well as  35 percent less electricity. Because of this an other green features, the building scored 53 points by the U.S. Green Building Council‘s scoring system, exceeding the 52 points required for Platinum certification.

The building contains academic, living and workspace and, since September of 2010, it has been home to 330 students.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.