Feature Stories

Living Green

"Reduce, reuse, recycle" has become a common catch-phrase in today's society. The university has long-incorporated many of its sustainability efforts in offices, departments and colleges across campus, but now a new threshold is ready to be broken. Imagine a residence hall in which students would have the opportunity to live the philosophy of sustainability on a daily basis. The new residence hall at East Campus (Building 1516)-the University of Georgia's first "green" residence hall-will provide approximately 555 non-first-year students with a technologically advanced living space that incorporates eco-friendly programs into a complete "Living Green" experience.

"As part of University Housing's commitment to provide more students with comfortable, affordable and secure housing options, we are excited to have a new residence hall that meets demands for housing, addresses the needs and interests of the new generation of environmentally conscientious students, and supports their academic and personal growth," said Gerry Kowalski, University Housing executive director. "The ‘Living Green' philosophy will be the fundamental concept of the new hall."

The university is implementing numerous green elements into the building of the new residence hall, seeking LEED certification once construction is completed. Promotion of community connectivity, physical activity and pollution reduction will help reinforce the "Living Green" practices of the building. The new hall will incorporate green technology, including in-room temperature controls; high-efficiency sinks, showers and toilets that allow a significant savings per year in water; treated gray water recycled from sinks and showers for use in toilets; low-emitting Volatile Organic Compounds in paint, carpet, coatings, sealants and adhesives that reduce contaminants effecting indoor air quality; and double-paned, low-energy windows that help rooms maintain constant temperatures. Ten percent of the materials used to construct the residence hall are made of recycled content, and another 10% are originated from within 500 miles of the construction site, reducing air pollutants created from transporting materials from great distances. The exterior of the building features a cool roof and concrete sidewalks which reflect light and use drought resistant landscaping and runoff water to replenish underground water sources.

The new residence hall will be the fourth building to comprise the Reed Community, a traditional-style residential community. The rooms will be arranged much like the rooms in Reed Hall, with double and single rooms and private bath accommodations for each room and feature carpeted rooms, loftable twin beds, laundry and kitchen facilities throughout the building, high-speed Internet access, and biometric hand readers for secure resident access. Nine-month contracts will be offered to residents. In addition, resident assistants will support residents in programs and other initiatives designed to aid in personal growth and academic success, in addition to programs geared toward sustainability education.

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