Colorado State University is pursuing LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environment Design – Gold certification for its newest residence hall, which will open Aug. 20 when CSU students return to campus for the fall semester.
Aspen Hall, the newest addition to the Academic Village, will be home this fall to 216 students. The residence hall also features office space for the Residence Hall Association and programming space for student events and programs.
Unlike the Honors and Engineering buildings in the Academic Village, which are tied to academic residential learning communities, Aspen Hall is open to students in any major. In addition to double rooms, Aspen Hall features six quad rooms that accommodate four students in two bedrooms with a shared living room space. The quad rooms are available to upperclass students and sold out in a matter of minutes during last spring’s room renewal campaign.
"This newest residence hall was built based on direct feedback from students," said Jim Dolak, executive director of Housing & Dining Services. "We are already hearing positive feedback about the student rooms, programming space and green features."
Aspen Hall is on track to receive LEED Gold certification, which will be the first time CSU Housing & Dining Services has received LEED certification for a residence hall building. LEED is considered the national standard for sustainable buildings and gold certification is the second highest certification available through the LEED program. The first phase of the Academic Village, including the Engineering and Honors buildings as well as the Commons building, were built with environmentally friendly features but Aspen Hall has gone a step further. Residents of Aspen Hall are expected to reduce energy consumption by 23 percent and water use by 41 percent. Energy and water savings have been realized through the use of ultra low-flow toilets and shower heads as well as water-efficient landscaping, use of day lighting throughout the building and high-efficiency condensing boilers.
A remote thermal plant provides heating and cooling systems for Aspen Hall and is designed to serve other buildings in the future. The remote thermal plant features 72 solar panels producing 12.6 kilowatts of electricity to send back into the electric grid. The thermal plant also includes energy storage in the form of ice production for building space cooling. The plant makes ice at night, when electric demand is lower, and then reverses the process to melt the ice during the day to provide cooling. This off-peak ice making process creates cost savings by lowering electricity demand during the day when there is higher demand and higher premiums.
"We are very excited to implement some cutting-edge green technology at the Academic Village," Dolak said. "It is a great opportunity for students to see what they are learning in the classroom used in a real-world application."
Aspen Hall will also be the test site for a graywater research project. Fourteen rooms on the first floor of the hall will participate in the research pilot project in partnership with CSU’s Civil Engineering Department. Water from the sinks and showers in the test rooms will be collected in the basement of Aspen Hall, treated/purified, and then used for sub-surface irrigation. Depending on the success of the program, the water may be treated on site and re-circulated to the toilets in the test rooms. This program may eventually be expanded to other halls on campus.
In addition to opening a new residence hall, CSU Housing & Dining Services also continues to renovate and update existing facilities to better meet student needs. Over the summer, a Braiden Hall remodeling project included a new sprinkler system for student rooms, lobbies and lounges as well as new paint, carpeting and furniture. The dining center at Braiden Hall is mid-way through a major renovation that will add additional seating, completely new interiors, and online deli orders for the busy lunch period.
About Move-in at CSU
Move-in begins at 8 a.m. at all residence halls. Signage will help guide students and families to designated loading and parking zones. Volunteers from the Greek community and Housing & Dining Services staff members will be on hand to help students move in. Information kiosks will be located on campus and will provide campus maps, resources and cold drinks.
Allison Hall residents should be aware that due to the construction at Rockwell Hall, the front entrance to Allison Hall will be closed off with barricades on Thursday, Aug. 20 – Monday, Aug. 24 and parking in the front of Allison Hall will not be available. Instead, students and families should unload at the west entrance of Allison Hall. Signage will be posted for directions to this location.