Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system for buildings to rank their comprehensive use of sustainable design techniques. Developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is the leading rating system for green buildings, required by many local municipalities as well as the US General Services Administration (GSA) for all new construction and major renovation of Federally-owned buildings. LEED critiques a building in five main categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design. Villanova has five LEED certified buildings on campus: the Law School, Driscoll Hall, Fedigan Hall, Sheehnan and Sullivan Hall.
The Law School, completed in 2009, is a LEED Gold building that features a number of sustainable design features including thoughtful building orientation, high efficiency window selection, a white roof, and strategic room layout that resulted in a 23% reduction in energy usage. The building utilizes 41% less water though the use of water efficient fixtures, such as dual flush toilets and motion sensitive faucets. In addition, only native plants were used for the building’s landscaping. All rain that falls on the building is collected on site through the stormwater wetlands, which provides our students with a great source for experimentation and data collection. 95% of all construction waste generated for this building was recycled! Sustainable materials were also used including products with recycled content, regionally sourced materials and FSC certified wood. When commuting to the school, occupants have a number of options enhanced by the design of the building, including bicycle racks, electric vehicle charging stations, and easy access to public transportation through the SEPTA regional rail line. Once in the building, occupants have a clean and welcoming learning environment enhanced with the use of low VOC paints, access to daylight, lightly colored walls to reflect light, and superior air filtration. After 6 months of occupancy, a comfort survey was distributed and the results came back above average in there positivity towards the building. Use this link for the complete LEED scorecard.
Driscoll Hall; the home for the Villanova's College of Nursing, was finished in 2008, receiving a LEED Gold certification. The building was designed to efficiently use all resources, including energy, water, building materials and more. Driscoll uses 22% less energy and 37% less water. 86% of the waste generated during construction was recycled. The building materials used are also sustainable, with 22% of materials made using recycled content, 14% regional content, and 74% of the wood sourced from FSC certified suppliers. The building's white roof top and surrounding hardscape shaded by trees reduce the building’s heat island. The main entrance has a small green roof, which helps to reduce rain run off. Additional stormwater runoff is collected in an underground detention facility and slowly released into the ground to replenish the aquifer. Bike racks and showers are available to building occupants and visitors. Once inside the building, low VOC paints and carpet provides a clean environment to work and learn in. For the complete LEED scorcard use this link.
In 2011 Sheehan and Sullivan Halls were renovated under the LEED Commercial Interiors standard, each receiving a LEED Silver rating in 2013. The buildings’ redesign included the replacement of water fixtures with dual flush toilets, low flow shower heads and motion sensitive water faucets, resulting in 25% less potable water use. In an effort to reduce energy usage the buildings’ lighting power density were lowered by more than 50% by replacing older, less efficient lighting with newer, more efficient technology. Throughout the renovation 92% of the waste was diverted from the landfill to be recycled. Much of the new building materials are made out of recycled and/or regionally harvested and manufactured material. Building occupants enjoy a cleaner indoor air with the use of low VOC paint. Additionally, over three quarters of the dormitories has access to daylight, lessening occupants’ needs for artificial lighting. For each buildings complete LEED scorecard use the following links: Sheehan and Sullivan.
In 2013 Fedegan Hall, nicknamed the “Green Dorm”, achieved LEED Gold certification under Commercial Interiors. The dorm has a number of new sustainable features that help the building live up to its name including a geothermal system, the only building on campus to have this system. Geothermal energy utilizes the semi-constant temperature of the earth’s crust to heat and cool a building. Rain gardens span the entire east side of the building collecting rain runoff from the building. Additional, rain barrels are located behind the building to capture any excess water runoff, that water is used to irrigate the surrounding vegetation. Bike racks are located near the entrance of the building for safe and easy storage. Water fixtures inside of the building were replaced with more efficient fittings, including dual flush toilets and low flow showerheads. Energy efficiency was increased by reducing the lighting power density by 55% and using only Energy Star Certified appliances. Occupants enjoy easy access to daylight and views throughout the building, resulting in a reduced need for artificial lighting
Villanova University, as a community of learned and learning scholars, respecting the sacredness of all creation, accepts its responsibility to the integrity of Earth and its biodiversity, to the heritage of future generations, and to the security of nations. By utilizing the Augustinian values of Unitas, Veritas, and Caritas, meaning love thy neighbor, promote community unity, and live life in moderation through our curriculum, work environment, and operations, Villanova’s approach to sustainability exemplifies an emphasis on social justice and community service.
For questions regarding campus sustainability email Liesel Schwarz