University of New Haven Students Comfortable In Energy-Efficient Residence Hall Constructed with the Environment Top of Mind

WestsideA University of New Haven residence hall built to be green and save energy has been recognized by the Connecticut Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. 

The council awarded the university an Institutional Housing Award of Merit, for Westside Hall, a 158,000 square foot residence hall that houses 350 students, and has a cafeteria, classrooms and offices. 

The building was designed with a “splendid use of energy modeling to predict, analyze, and minimize energy usage in lighting heating/cooling and water usage,” the council said. 

Built with the goal of complying with LEED -guidelines, Westside Hall opened in fall, 2014 and has energy management systems such as high efficiency lighting, heat pumps, building controls and heating and cooling systems resulting in the use of 24 percent less energy than most buildings of its size. Those systems also qualified the building for a United Illuminating I Energy Conscious Blueprint whole-building comprehensive incentive award of almost $400,000. 

“The building reflects many construction elements that conserve energy and reduce waste,” said Louis Annino, associate vice president for facilities at the university. “Best of all, Westside provides residents with a beautiful, convenient, efficient and comfortable place to live.” 

Several aspects of the construction were also designed to save the environment. More than 75% of the construction waste was diverted for recycling. The white roof reduces cooling loads. Water efficient fixtures reduce usage by 38 percent. Indoor air quality was considered and low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, flooring systems and composite wood products were used in the building. The building also has bicycle storage and preferred parking for fuel efficient vehicles. 

Occupants have control over their lighting and thermal comfort, and easy access to recycling collection and storage. An innovative green cleaning program was put in place with sustainable cleaning equipment and practices that reduced toxicity and improve safe storage of supplies.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920, the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 5,000 undergraduates.