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8 greenest dorms in the world

By: chief on April 26, 2012, 3:46 p.m.
stump table and photo of Ackerman Hall

Photo: Denise Visuano/Western Oregon University

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Western Oregon University, Ackerman Hall

In order to get LEED Platinum certification, a building must earn at least 52 points. Ackerman Hall at Western Oregon University in Monmouth went beyond that, getting 53 points in a 2010 assessment of the new residence hall, one of the first in the country to receive Platinum designation. The building, opened in the fall of 2010, houses 330 students and provides both living and academic spaces within. The building is also a model of green and sustainable construction. It has a rainwater harvesting system used for flushing toilets, solar panels on the roof, occupancy sensors throughout, low-flow water fixtures, reclaimed wood from the building site, and even a recycled glass patio that filters water runoff. In its first year of operation, the dorm saved 75 percent more water and 35 percent more energy than a non-sustainable building of comparable size. (Furniture like this stump table in the photo was made from trees that fell during an ice storm as well as the two trees that were taken down when Ackerman was built.)