When Purdue University saw an opportunity to upgrade Meredith Hall and Third Street North Hall, they took it. Instead of just going through the motions of a typical interior and exterior update, they strived to make their buildings LEED certified. When they started this project, they initially had a consultant who said LEED could not be achieved at all. With our help, they achieved LEED Silver.
One of the biggest aspects of design that was important to Purdue was having dormitories that have exceptional indoor-to-outdoor integration. While adding more windows is a common method of doing this, keeping it energy efficient can be a struggle. We optimized the amount of windows to balance the increased energy consumption from insulation shortcomings with the improved indoor environmental impact on students.
Related to this, we conducted a thermal comfort study that helps the HVAC system to satisfy the demand of the space and keep the indoor environment comfortable. We also conducted a noise study to confirm the spaces adjacent to the study rooms are quiet and the sound transfer between rooms is minimal. The buildings are also equipped with smart meters that are designed to integrate with the utility company on demand.
Additionally, through a building life cycle impact analysis, our professionals evaluated the building material used against green house gas emissions. We analyzed where the building material was extracted from, how it was manufactured, how it was transported to the site, and how it will be disposed of after the building has fulfilled its full life cycle. Overall, the dormitory buildings will have a 30% reduction of environmental impact compared to similar buildings.
Overall, these LEED Silver dormitory buildings are saving about 20% more energy and conserving about 35% more water compared to the other dormitory halls on Purdue’s campus.