purduehonorscollege Purdue University
Honors College and Residences, Purdue University

Purdue's Honors College facility gets LEED gold certification

324,000-square-foot complex opened in August 2016.

The Honors College and Residences at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., has received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The university says it expects to save about $200,000 in annual energy costs through the use of high-efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation equipment.

Highly efficient shower and faucet fixtures will enable the facility to use nearly 2 million fewer gallons of water each year compared with code requirements—enough to offset the daily water usage of more than 19,000 people.

“This certification was a significant focus during the design and building process as we strive to set an example for our students to be global citizens and leaders," says Rhonda Phillips, dean of the Honors College.

Construction of the Honors College and Residences, which encompasses 324,000 gross square feet of space, began in February 2015 and was completed in August 2016. It houses more than 800 students and is also home to the college itself, serving as a centralized hub for its administration and academic programs. 

Notable spaces include the Innovation Forum, with an interactive, programmable floor; the Computer Co-Lab, with bicycles that power laptops; an edible garden and the Honors Hall. With its massive windows, a coffered ceiling, stage and space for nearly 300 people, the hall will serve as a central gathering point.

In order to earn Gold certification, buildings must score at least 60 points through LEED project requirements. Honors College and Residences earned 66 LEED points and excelled in optimized energy performance, community connectivity, access to public transportation, use of regional materials, water use reduction, indoor air quality and design innovation.

“Based on energy model predictions, Honors College and Residences is expected to be at least 40 percent more energy-efficient than what Indiana energy code requires,” says Michael Gulich, director of Purdue Campus Master Planning and Sustainability..

The 18-month construction marked the fastest completion time for a Purdue residence hall. The project was originally approved with a $90 million budget but was completed with a savings of more than $3 million.

The Honors College and Residences is the eighth facility on the Purdue campus to receive LEED certification. The others are are Marriott Hall, the Córdova Recreational Sports Center, Third Street Suites, Herrick Laboratories, the Krach Leadership Center, the Gatewood Wing addition to the Mechanical Engineering Building, and Wang Hall.

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