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Susquehanna University Residence Halls Are LEED-Certified

Published on August 2, 2012

Two residence halls in Susquehanna University’s West Village complex recently earnedWest Village silver-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The residence halls follow the example of Susquehanna’s Natural Sciences Center, which earned silver LEED certification in 2011.

Built in 2007 and 2008, and housing more than 330 students in seven buildings, West Village represents the university’s ongoing commitment to sustainable operations and practices. The five buildings constructed to meet LEED criteria—the newly certified Linden and Laurel halls, and three others expected to achieve certification—are notable for their energy-conscious use of lighting, water and materials, as well as other sustainability features. For example:

  • The buildings feature high-value insulation to keep inside temperatures warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. 
  • The windows have a special coating that allows light and solar heat to pass into the structures but prevents that heat from escaping, saving energy in the winter. 
  • Before installation, all ductwork for the buildings was sealed so dust and other particles could not enter into the air distribution system. 
  • Light fixtures were strategically placed to direct light away from windows, where it would be wasted. 
  •  Low- and ultra-low-flow bathroom fixtures reduce water use by 40 percent. 
  •  Recycling areas are located throughout the buildings, and bicycle racks and indoor bike storage areas encourage students to keep their cars parked.

“This project was the first on campus that SU made a concerted decision to build ‘green’ using stringent USGBC criteria,” said Rick Rebuck, assistant director of facilities. “Although this is not the first project on campus to get a green certification, it is very gratifying to have validation from USGBC that ‘common-sense’ efforts in green building techniques have also fulfilled the rigorous criteria delineated by the formal certification process.”

“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. “Susquehanna University’s West Village project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”

The residence halls were designed by Spillman Farmer Architects, of Bethlehem. R.S. Mowery & Sons Inc., Mechanicsburg, served as construction manager.

Susquehanna’s embrace of green initiatives is grounded in its guiding values of good stewardship and ethical responsibility. The university applies sustainable practices to everything from construction and energy use, to academics, to printing and publications. A Committee on Sustainability, green car-rental program, and student organizations such as Student Awareness for the Value of the Environment (SAVE) all play key roles in advancing the university’s commitment to environmental issues.


Karen M. Jones


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