Berea College’s Knapp Hall Earns LEED Gold Certification

Another building on the Berea College campus has achieved Gold-level certification from Leadership and Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), in recognition of its eco-friendly renovation. Built in 1913 specifically for teacher training and student observation, Knapp Hall was hailed at the time as a state-of-the-art facility for teacher training. The College’s Education department continues to occupy the renovated building.

Berea College President Lyle Roelofs says, “We are delighted that Knapp Hall has received LEED Gold certification, a validation of the strong work of our planning and construction management team in building and renovating buildings to achieve great performance while enhancing support of our educational mission. The ongoing commitment to sustainability at Berea College stems from the 7th of its foundational Great Commitments.”

Knapp Hall, home of the Education Studies Program

Knapp Hall, home of the Education Studies Program

The comprehensive renovation of Knapp Hall, which is a 16,430 square foot building, addressed specific criteria assessed by LEED, such as efficient use of energy and water, appropriate recycling of old materials and using new “green” materials, indoor air quality, and innovation in design, among others.

“LEED Gold Certification is a fitting achievement for such an important building as Knapp Hall,” says Richard Dodd, Capital Projects Manager for Berea College. “It’s been serving as ‘home base’ to Berea education majors for 100 years and is now best equipped to continue as such. While maintaining most of its original 1913 architecture, introduction of a geothermal HVAC system, energy efficient windows and LED lighting will reduce energy consumption by more than 50%. More importantly, meeting the LEED Pilot Credit for Ergonomic Strategy means the classrooms and offices have been designed and furniture selected to promote health and wellness for our students and faculty. Our students majoring in education spend quite a bit of their days in the building and the additional spaces provide for quiet study with lots of natural light and beautiful views. “

Knapp Hall is sited near the western edge of Berea’s campus facing true north. It joins other facilities on campus that are LEED certified. Lincoln Hall, Berea’s administration building, was the College’s (and Kentucky’s) first LEED certified structure. Berea’s historic Boone Tavern Hotel was the first LEED certified hostelry in the state. Berea’s “Deep Green” residence hall achieved LEED Platinum status, making it the world’s highest-scoring college dormitory. Earlier this year, the Anna Smith residence hall also was LEED certified.

Berea, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor, and service. Berea charges no tuition, admitting only academically promising students with limited economic resources, primarily from Appalachia. All students must work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, room and board. The College’s motto “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth, (Acts 17:26)” speaks to its inclusive character, and the quality of its programs ensures that graduates from Berea go on to distinguish themselves and the College in many fields.

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