The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded LEED Gold ratings to both the Wooster Hall and Bevier Hall renovation projects, certifying SUNY New Paltz’s efforts to redesign these buildings with a focus on efficiency and sustainability.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized symbol of sustainable construction and facilities management. It is a flexible system that evaluates buildings on metrics like energy and water usage, waste diversion, construction practices and materials and human health factors.
The Wooster Hall renovation, completed in 2016, was designed and executed with many LEED-friendly practices in mind, including:
- An underground rainwater cistern that funnels natural water from the roof to be stored for use in low-flow bathroom facilities;
- A smart ventilation system that relies on carbon dioxide sensors to identify spaces where fresh air is needed, cutting energy usage by an estimated 36 percent as compared to buildings of comparable size and layout;
- A design that makes extensive use of windows to harness natural light and reduce electricity usage;
- Construction with sustainable materials – at least 75 percent of building materials used in the renovation were recycled; 20 percent were made from recycled materials; and 10 percent were sourced within 500 miles of the project site.
The Bevier Hall renovation, completed in 2017, shared some common approaches with the Wooster project, but with a stronger emphasis on supporting student residents living in the building 24/7:
- Bevier achieves water efficiency through the installation of dual-flush toilets, self-closing faucets, and low-flow shower heads;
- An energy-saving heat wheel uses warmer indoor air to preheat incoming air during the cold winter months;
- Another underground cistern collects roof water, but in this case the water is used for landscaping irrigation for campus grounds near the building;
- The renovation project reused existing walls and flooring, saving money and diverting materials from landfills, and also made use of low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, flooring, and composite wood to support long-term energy efficiency
- A new roof was installed in a light green color that reflects natural sunlight and reduces the heat island effect.
Wooster and Bevier Halls become the third and fourth buildings on the New Paltz campus to earn LEED Gold certification, following the Crispell Hall and Lefevre Hall renovations (completed 2011 and 2014, respectively). Old Main and Ridgeview Hall are certified with an LEED Silver rating.