Green Corner: Green facility gets the gold

In Rider’s continuing efforts to be more sustainable, academic building North Hall recently exceeded going green with being accredited Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification gold.
LEED certification is a rating system used to ensure that new buildings have been created in a “green” manner. Designed by the U.S. Green Building Council to encourage the construction of sustainable buildings, this system has affected Rider’s Lawrenceville campus, on which there are two buildings that meet these standards. West Village apartment buildings received a LEED certification of silver and most recently, North Hall was awarded a gold LEED certification this past summer. But what is it that makes these buildings so special?
There are certain criteria a building must meet in order to achieve a LEED certification. Both design and construction elements are taken into consideration as well as energy usage and water conservation, among other things. According to the LEED Certification Project, the point system is used to keep track of the different levels of sustainability and points are distributed within various categories. A minimum of 40 to 49 points will earn the label of “Certified,” 50 to 59 points mean a silver certification, 60 to 79 points will get a gold certification and 80 points and up receives the highest ranking of platinum.
To grab a gold certification, North Hall scored a total of 61 points, according to the Rider LEED certification review report. In the parking lot behind the building there are drainage areas for the lot that collect runoff and storm water. The native landscaping that surrounds the building also helps to slow runoff and as provide a home for local insects and pollinators. Jutting out of the building on the second floor of North Hall is a vegetated roofing system or simply a “green roof,” which also helps to collect water and to keep the temperature down, reducing the need for air conditioning.
The entirety of North Hall has energy-efficient lighting and motion detectors so lights do not stay on in an empty room beyond a set period of time. There are low volatile organic compound (VOC) furnishings, meaning there is no toxic chemical smell to products, along with heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems that minimize ozone-depleting substances and control temperature and humidity. There are also low-flow water fixtures. To meet the gold standard, a reduction of at least 30 percent in water usage is necessary, and North Hall has exceeded the requirement by decreasing usage by 40 percent.
More than a quarter of the total building materials was manufactured using recycled materials, and through the development of North Hall, 85.4 percent of on-site generated construction waste from the landfill was reused (the necessary minimum was only 50 percent). We should all be very proud of our efforts here at Rider and of the success of North Hall. To further our sustainable initiatives on campus, any renovations or construction will have to meet a standard of at least LEED silver certification.
For more information on what Rider is doing to go green, check out our “Broncs Go Green” website.
-Jillian Spratt
Junior Lawrenceville Eco-Rep

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