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West End Building Earns Top Sustainability Certification

May 01, 2023   |   Dartmouth News

The Class of 1982 Engineering and Computer Science Center (ECSC) was recently awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the US Green Building Council's highest designation for sustainable design.

The solar panels on the roof were one factor in helping the Class of 1982 Engineering and Computer Science Center win Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification. (Photo by Eli Burakian '00)

LEED is the internationally recognized benchmark for eco-friendly building design, construction and operation. The Green Building Council evaluates water usage, energy sources and consumption, indoor air quality, and numerous other sustainability factors to determine whether a building deserves the certification.

"The recognition is a welcome validation of our efforts to prioritize sustainability and energy efficiency on campus as we work toward a low-carbon future," says Josh Keniston, vice president of campus services.

The expansive 160,000-square-foot Class of '82 ECSC building, which houses part of Thayer School of Engineering, the Department of Computer Science, and the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship, opened its doors to faculty, researchers, and students last spring.

The building achieved platinum certification by meeting rigorous standards for performance, including a 35% reduction of water usage and 55% reduction of energy usage compared to a conventional construction project.

The Class of 1982 Engineering and Computer Science Center opened last spring in the West End of campus and has won recognition for its sustainability features, including solar power. (Photo by Eli Burakian '00)

Designed with a high-insulation, energy-efficient envelope, the building encloses a mix of classrooms, research and teaching labs, and an expansive central atrium that is both naturally skylit and ventilated.

High-performance heat recovery, reduced lighting power, and cascading ventilation are among the numerous energy conservation measures employed. A solar panel array on the roof will supplement the building’s energy needs. The project also recycled 95% of the construction waste.

"This is exciting for Dartmouth as this certification serves as real confirmation that we are designing and constructing energy-efficient buildings aligned with our sustainability goals," says Patrick O'Hern, senior director of project management services.

ECSC is the second LEED Platinum building at Dartmouth, after the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, which earned the designation in March 2012. The McLaughlin Cluster Residence Halls, the Fahey-McLane Residence Hall, and the Black Family Visual Arts Center are LEED Gold certified, while the Floren Varsity House and Kemeny Hall and Haldeman Center were granted LEED Silver status.

The Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, Dartmouth Hall, and the current renovations to the Andres and Zimmerman residence halls are currently awaiting certification.

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