North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College’s Res/Rec Center achieves LEED Silver Certification

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Sept. 7, 2011—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded LEED Silver Certification to North Central College’s innovative and environmentally friendly Residence Hall/Recreation Center (Res/Rec).

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

“The Res/Rec Center’s LEED Silver Certification further establishes North Central’s commitment to integrating sustainable design elements into campus living and daily operations,” says Abby Hahne, the College’s sustainability coordinator. “The innovative and collaborative whole-building design approach has provided our campus with a building that not only offers fantastic residential and recreation facilities, but further promotes human and environmental health.”

The Res/Rec Center is the nation’s first combined residence hall and recreation center on a college campus. It opened in September 2009. The 201,439-square-foot building conserves land on North Central’s 59-acre campus in Naperville’s Historic District by combining two large buildings in one. The four-story, 265-bed dormitory is wrapped around a recreation center that includes a 62,000-square-foot field house. It also features one of the largest geothermal installations in the Midwest with 60 650-foot deep geothermal wells.

North Central College’s Res/Rec Center achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

“North Central College’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and North Central College serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.”

LEED certification of North Central College’s Res/Rec Center was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:

·    Precast concrete construction
·    Geothermal heating and cooling
·    Energy-efficient windows
·    Radiant heat
·    High-efficiency air conditioning
·    Heat recovery ventilators
·    A domestic hot water waste heat recovery system
·    A white membrane roof to reduce the heat island effect
·    Bicycle racks
·    Native landscaping

The architect for the Res/Rec Center is Buchar, Mitchell, Bajt Architects, Inc., based in Joliet. Consulting architect is Loebl Schlossman & Hackl, based in Chicago. Construction administration is Mustang Construction Co., based in Naperville. Interior design is by Barbara’s Interiors, based in Naperville. Civil engineer is CEMCON, Ltd., based in Aurora. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer is Mark Nussbaum, P.E., Architectural Consulting Engineers, based in Oak Park. LEED consultant is Charlie Saville of Sieben Energy Associates, based in Chicago.

At North Central College, sustainability is the collective effort of students, faculty, staff and visitors working toward the development of a socially just, environmentally responsible and economically functional campus community. Sustainability highlights in recent years include the elimination of trays in the dining hall; the creation of a community garden; implementation of the Cardinal Red Bike Program, which makes bicycles available to students on a per-term basis for free; participation in the Zipcar program, which allows students, faculty and staff to reserve a car online or by mobile phone; and implementation of the Cardinal Shuttle to encourage ride-sharing transportation.

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member companies and organizations, and nearly 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. The LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Nearly 40,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising nearly 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries. Visit to learn more.