Western Heights Hall, a student residence at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, has received LEED Gold certification for its environmentally friendly design and construction.
The 750-student housing complex opened in 2015 and is the first new residence hall on the campus in nearly 50 years.
The residence hall has been designed to promote a sense of community and encourage socialization among students. It has two Y-shaped buildings with living space that is organized into houses, each of which is home to about 35 students.
Its sustainable design elements include high-efficiency heating and cooling, water conservation, energy-efficient insulation, exterior sunscreens, tinted glass and an EnergyStar roof.
Western Heights also aims to teach students through its sustainable features. The university desired a didactic green building with visible design strategies that residents could see and understand. Educational materials are on display to explain the design—from a distinctive lobby featuring salvaged granite window sills and gymnasium flooring to rain gardens that reduce and treat storm water runoff. External sunscreens, Thermochromic glazing and a high-efficiency heat pump mechanical system also showcase the latest technologies for efficiently heating and cooling the building complex.
The architect is Lord Aeck Sargent.