While UMW expands at an unprecedented rate, our commitment to environmentally conscience development remains strong. This is manifested through our goal to achieve LEED certification on all new construction projects, beginning with our soon-to-be-built campus in Dahlgren, Virginia.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED certified buildings are designed to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and be a healthier and safer environment for occupants. The certification has four levels: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. We have four LEED certified buildings on campus, and are in the process of two LEED certifications. The Dahlgren campus is in the process of receiving silver certification and the new Randolph and Mason complex is in the process of receiving gold certification. Meeting LEED Gold qualifications, these buildings have numerous sustainable aspects. All of the lights in the hallways are motion sensored, the landscaping consists of native vegetation, and much of the building materials were recycled from the old buildings. With construction also looming, it has become a requirement that all new building projects be LEED certified.
With all of the construction projects on campus, UMW strives to work towards sustainability. All of construction projects on campus are required to meet LEED silver qualifications. Our most construction project, the renovation of Randolph and Mason, took these sustainability initiatives to another level and is currently in the process of being LEED gold certified. Many of the materials used in the project were reused from the original buildings, including the marble windowsills. There are many energy conservation measures inside the buildings as well, such as motion sensored lights. Most unique to these buildings is the energy dashboard. This dashboard reports the energy usage of the two buildings and provides information on the energy impacts of typical dorm room items, such as lamps, TV’s, and computers. This is an exciting new tool that will help us better educate the campus community on energy conservation measures.
The construction of the new Dahlgren provided unique sustainability opportunities. Dahlgren is the first UMW campus to use geothermal heating and cooling. It is also our first building with a green roof. Planted with seedums, the green roof provides many natural systems for the building. First, it reduces the amount of rain water run off, therefore reducing the amount of storm water pollution from the building. It also insulates the building. By taking in the sun’s rays it keep the building cooler in the summer, but also heats it in the winter. Lastly, the campus is our first to be completely landscaped with native vegetation. This provides a compatible landscape for wildlife and a beautiful setting for education.