By Melissa Laskowski, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions
On August 24, 2009 upperclassmen moved into Soundview Hall, our newest residence hall. Soundview is named for the spectacular views of Long Island Sound, as well as its views of the downtown New Haven skyline. Equipped with both single and double occupancy rooms, Soundview Hall houses four to six students per apartment and includes a full kitchen, two bathrooms and a living room. Each floor is also equipped with a common lounge for the students that features a 50” LCD television, its own laundry facility and recycling center.Soundview Hall also has central heating and air conditioning.
During the planning and construction process, engineers made the decision to apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. It is a voluntary international certification process developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to encourage and recognize environmentally friendly buildings. LEED certification <br />considers several categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Locations and Linkages, Awareness and Education, and Innovation in Design. Buildings can also earn bonus points for meeting select Regional Priority Areas. There are four levels of LEED certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Soundview Hall is striving for either Silver or Gold certification.
To help attain the goal of LEED certification, the University and project engineers established a former parking lot as the construction site; minimizing the disruption of any green space. Parking plans also include spaces for fuel efficient vehicles. Energy efficiency also takes precedence in Soundview Hall. Motion sensor lighting fixtures have been installed and Energy Star rated appliances were chosen for the apartments. Likewise, low-flow lavatories, showers and faucets were used to ensure water use was reduced. Outside of Soundview Hall, native plants have been used in landscaping, negating the need for an irrigation system around the building. Indoor air quality is also an important aspect of LEED certification. Green products will be used to clean the building and low odor emitting paints, calks and sealants were used during the construction process. Air quality was important even after the construction process was completed. Workers forced an exchange of air so that fresh air is in the building.
The engineers have to document and submit every step that they took from the first day that the construction process started to the installation of the amenities for the students’ comfort. This documentation will be submitted for evaluation of LEED credits for certification. While we wait to hear the final results of the LEED certification, our students have a modern, green building with beautiful views to enjoy.