LEED Gold Dorm In Heart Of Appalachia

Forget the image of drafty, dank college dorms that suck up lots of energy, water and other resources. The green campus movement is changing all that. In Boone, N.C., it’s happening at Appalachian State University, which just earned its second LEED Gold certification. The school’s Mountaineer Hall, a 234-unit dorm that can house 459 undergraduate students in its hotel-style rooms, was certified under the United States Green Building Council‘s LEED requirement for homes.

Mountaineer Hall earned a total of 68 points based on its energy saving and sustainability features—65 points are needed to receive Gold certification. The project received high marks for stewardship, which takes into account erosion control, landscaping and storm water controls. The building also scored high in the materials category since builders chose to use environmentally friendly products such as recycled gypsum board. Additional building features include energy-efficient lighting with motion sensors, solar panels for hot water and low-flow shower heads and toilets.

image via John S. Clark

“We are really excited to have our newest residence hall rated gold. University Housing has worked hard to be a role model for the state in regards to sustainability in housing design and operation,” Director Tom Kane said in a statement. “Appalachian prides itself on being more sustainable every year. University Housing has focused its efforts on designing halls students can be proud to live in and can claim are as green as any in the nation.”

The university’s previous LEED Gold certification was also for a residence hall—Frank Hall, which was renovated in 2009 and received the certification in 2010. In 2007, Appalachian’s Board of Trustees stated that all new buildings and major renovations must meet LEED Silver standards for environmentally friendly construction, human and environmental health, sustainable site development, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.