Univeristy Heights exterior with students walking on campus

University Heights Student Residential Learning Complex - Completed Project

Schedule: Completed August 2006
Project Manager: Todd Merchant
Project Architect: Hanbury, Evans, Wright and Vlattas


LEED Gold SealThis 266,322 sq. ft. facility consists of six buildings making up the north and south complexes. The north complex is home to Honors College students while the South Complex houses students interested in the environmental, natural resource, and participation in the Greenhouse Project. Each complex accommodates approximately 400 students in a variety of room types, including singles, doubles, lofts and suites. Each of these new rooms have a private or semi-private bathroom with sheetrock walls throughout to feel more like a home environment, and have a 100% fresh air supply, in addition to being air conditioned in the summer. Included in the design of each complex are visiting faculty apartments, a game room with kitchen amenities, multi-purpose room with media capabilities, academic offices and classroom facilities.

The Student Residential Learning Complex Project has received a GOLD Level of Certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED facts and energy saving features include:

  • The landscape takes advantage of existing topography to create new spaces, protects existing vegetation, and introduces hardscape and water features to improve the microclimate around the buildings.
  • A noteworthy feature of this project is the implementation of alternative stormwater management through the use of vegetated swales, recharge beds, and green roofs.
  • All buildings are fitted with energy efficient double­pane, low­E, argon filled, fiberglass framed windows that help control the amount of heat that is transferred with the light. In addition to the high performance windows, solar gain is also controlled by the use of sun shading devices on south facing large glass areas.
  • The six residential buildings feature a two pipe valance radiant heating and cooling system and enthalpy heat recovery wheel to optimize energy efficiency while also providing 100% outside air ventilation.
  • The University of Vermont utilizes a central steam heat plant to heat campus buildings, an energy efficient strategy for co­located, clustered buildings. Electricity and natural gas are used for all other regulated and unregulated loads. Rather than using only one type of fuel, the mix of steam, natural gas, and electricity maximizes the hours of total plant efficiency. 90% of the energy going into the buildings comes from steam generated by the central heat plant.
  • The project design also includes a reduced peak lighting density, efficient lighting fixtures, and occupancy sensors to turn off lights when not needed, all of which significantly reduce lighting power consumption.
  • The combined energy efficiency strategies and technologies incorporated in the project have led to the six buildings operating at 50 percent of the energy cost of conventionally made buildings of the same type and size.
  • The buildings feature water saving devices such as low flow flush toilets, low flow showers, and faucet flow reducers. Also contributing to water use reduction are the composting toilets located in the South Complex. Incorporating these water efficiency technologies results in an over 30 percent reduction in water usage.
  • 2 million gallons of water per year.
  • Environmentally friendly and low­emitting materials, including products made with recycled content, local materials, and sustainably harvested wood were selected. Low VOC paints, coatings and finishes were used on concrete, wood, metal, and gypsum board surfaces throughout the buildings. GREENGUARD­certified carpets with recycled content were employed in the building.
  • Rather than conventional demolition, the original buildings on the project site were carefully deconstructed by the crews from ReCycle North. More than 219 tons of salvaged and recyclable materials were recovered during deconstruction resulting in over 75% of materials being recycled or reused.