T he recently renovated Arnett Hall has received props for its “green”-ness. The dormitory has become the first at the University of Colorado to earn a LEED gold certification from the United States Green Building Council, which voluntarily rates buildings based on their sustainability.
“The main reason for us to go for LEED certification — in addition to doing the best we can with today`s technology in terms of renovating a building to the most sustainable level — is the lasting impact of LEED,” said Moe Tabrizi, CU`s energy conservation officer. “If you do it correctly, you have the opportunity to have 20 to 30 percent more energy efficiency in that building.”
Since renovations to Arnett Hall were completed in May 2008, the dorm has used 20 percent less energy and 39 percent less water, according to officials. Renovations that made those savings possible include the installation of insulation, double-pane windows, dual-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, lighting with automatic controls and carpet made from recycled materials.
The dorm also features special sensors that shut off the heating and cooling system in a room when a window is opened. The idea is to avoid having either the heat or the air conditioning running when a window is open — a situation that led to energy waste in the past, Tabrizi said.
Several other buildings at CU are also LEED gold certified, including the Wolf Law building, the ATLAS building and the Koelbel building, which houses CU`s Leeds School of Business, Tabrizi said. Two other dormitories — Andrews Hall, which was recently renovated, and Buckingham Hall, which is expected to be completed in August — are on track to become LEED certified.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.