Enotah Hall, Young Harris College – Young Harris, Ga.

Located in north Georgia, Young Harris College is in the midst of several changes, most notably the transition from a two-year college to a four-year university. In preparation for this change, the college opened a new residence hall at the beginning of the fall 2009 semester, Enotah Hall. Students lucky enough to land a spot in this 200-bed, 50-suite residence hall will soon be able to proclaim, “I live in a LEED certified building.” In addition to the college’s expansion to a four-year institution, it is also in the middle of the LEED certification process for Enotah Hall.

Enotah Hall is on target to receive LEED Silver certification in early 2010. Lord, Aeck & Sargent, a firm known for its sustainable design projects, designed the 62,600 square-foot building. Several steps were taken that will ultimately help the firm earn LEED Silver certification for the project including the use of regional materials, FSC-certified wood, low-VOC products, windows angled to maximize daylighting, a rainwater capture system, individual thermostats in each room, geothermal wells, and much more.

Midwest Research Institute – Kansas City, Mo.

The Midwest Research Institute headquarters building in Kansas City, Missouri recently received LEED Gold certification for a $25 million renovation. The project encompassed 80,000 square feet of the 250,000 building and took approximately two years to finish. Although the building size was not increased, the renovation led to a 50 percent increase in lab space, new office space to accommodate 150 staff persons, and energy efficiency upgrades that will save 600 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

In order to achieve this improved energy efficiency, new windows, chillers, boilers, lab hoods, low-flow plumbing, and lighting systems were installed. In addition to the reduced CO2 emissions, these upgrades will lead to an expected 19 percent reduction in energy costs and a 29 percent reduction in water usage.

Photo: PRNewsFoto/Midwest Research Institute, Bob Greenspan Photography/courtesy of PGAV Architects