Truly the sum of its parts, Berea’s new residence hall features many green design elements – which all combine as a powerful statement on tradition, health, education, the arts and sustainability. Using the sun for power and the earth for heating and cooling. Fresh air and natural light. Recycled and environmentally-friendly building materials. Energy- and water-efficient appliances. Each monitored and measured by a special building dashboard, and each integral to student life in this new sustainable place.
Local & Recycled Materials play an integral role in the new building, beginning with its 100% recycled brick exterior. Also significant: much of the residence hall furniture, and trim, will be fabricated by the College’s Student Crafts Program – from wood harvested within the nearby FSC-certified Berea College Forest.
Energy Efficiency is improved through use of a well-insulated, high-performance building envelope, natural and assisted ventilation, task lighting/reliance on daylighting, special window glass (to protect against heat gain), high-efficiency appliances, a geothermal heat pump system to provide heating, cooling and hot water, and the building dashboard (in the lobby and online) to track electricity consumption.
Daylighting & Natural Ventilation schemes throughout the residence hall will keep residents comfortable year-round. The building’s orientation along an east-west axis optimizes the amount of sunlight available. Although this part of Kentucky features hot humid summers and cold dry winters, periods in the spring and fall are perfect for moving fresh air through the entire building.
Renewable Energy systems on the south-facing roof include 114 photovoltatic (solar) panels, producing approximately 14 percent of the building’s annual energy needs and reduce the building’s ecological footprint.
Sustainable Site elements will enhance the ecological performance of the building site as well. Storm water management improves through the use of “rain gardens” – landscaped depressions that feature native plants – as a means of collecting and filtering rainwater. Also, the adjacent parking lot will emphasize the use of “green” techniques to minimize the impact of parking on the site.