Virginia’s James Madison University (JMU) is preparing for the start of the fall semester. As students head to the campus after the fall break, they will be greeted with a new dining option, the East Campus Dining Hall. The new dining facility, which has room for 700 hungry students, isn’t just a typical dining hall – it is a green dining hall.

The facility is on track to become JMU’s first LEED certified building. The building was built to LEED standards and the certification process should be completed sometime in the spring of 2010. In the meantime, students can enjoy the all-you-can eat meals in an environmentally friendly dining hall.

“Among features that make the new East Campus Dining Hall eligible for LEED certification are its location close to bus stops and bike racks; a white membrane that covers 97 percent of the roof and reflects sunlight; water-efficient plumbing; daylighting (89 percent of the regularly occupied spaces in the building are daylit); and the use of recycled and regionally manufactured building materials.” Source: JMU

Not only is the facility green, the school kept sustainability in mind when setting the green dining hall’s menu. While all of the food choices won’t be organic and healthy, the campus dining services’ department aims to use locally grown produce when possible. This includes hydroponic lettuce from a Mennonite farmer and herbs grown on the university’s campus.

Photo by hoyasmeg

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